Good News Blog

Sudden Wealth

Friday, Feb. 20, 2009

Man Wins Lottery. Twice. On The Same Day.

The chance of winning the lottery is often said to be a tad bit smaller than the chance of being hit by lightning.

Lightning is said never to strike twice at the same place.

So consider the odds of someone winning the lotter. Twice. On the same day. From the same lottery.

That’s what happened to James McAllister (62) from Acworth, USA, when he bought two scratch off tickets on Valentine’s day.

James brought his wife for a Valentine’s breakfast. Along Highway 92 he bought a Georgia Lottery Millionaire Jumbo Bucks scratch off ticket — and won $5,000.

Apparently not completely satisfied, or maybe feeling this was his lucky day, later on in the day he bought another ticket as he was shopping for a Valentine’s card for his wife.

Scratching that one off was worth $250,000

“It was because of Valentine’s Day.

If it hadn’t been for my wife, I probably wouldn’t have won either time.”
— James McAllister


The odds in the Georgia Lottery Millionaire Jumbo Bucks of winning $5,000 are one in 10,000. The odds of winning $250,000 are one in more than 1 million…. The odds of winning both and on the same day are staggering.

James will receive his money in one big payment, as is customary with the Georgia lottery, but the big prize will have taxes withheld.

Monday, Jan. 26, 2009

Lottery wins don’t guarantee long-term wealth or good health

If you tend to be waiting for that Big Hit from the lottery which once and for all will fix your life, relieve you of daily work and stress, and generally make things wonderful so that your life can finally start — wait no more.

A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that lottery winners aren’t that much better off; not in health and not in wealth.

In his study Scott Hankins of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, compared big winners (50,000 – 150,000 dollars) with small winners (less than 10,000 dollar).

Initially the bankruptcy rate among the big winners was 50% lower than that of the small winners — but after about two years that rate jumped up.

In the end, averaging out the numbers, about 5% of either group went bankrupt in the next 5 years after their win.

As for health it was Andrew Clark and Benedicte Apouey of the Paris School of Economics who showed that the health of lottery winners tends to decline.

The “why” of that hasn’t been studied yet but one explanation could be that the winners party more; drinking and smoking more.

Either way, combined with earlier research that shows that once people’s basic daily needs are met through their income happiness does not increase as income goes up, I guess we can let go now and just start being happy right away :)

Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008

Man wins half million, goes to work

Caleb Steele needed to ask permission from his boss to leave his work for about half an hour on Thursday morning.

He needed time off to collect his lottery prize: $500,000. After collecting the price got went back to work: installing a basketball court in the art of nearby house.

Last Friday he bought a $5 scratch ticket; it was the same day that his mother celebrated her birthday. During previous years he’s won up to $100 playing scratch ticket games.

When he realized last Friday how much he had won he called his wife, asked if she love him and went back to work.

When he came home at the end of the day he and his wife started to plan for future without debt. And no doubt they will also have a good Christmas season.

The store owner says that Caleb is his biggest winner so far.

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008

Perfectly Timed Lottery Win

Samantha and Matthew Hunt are about to have their third child. So when Matthew bought a lottery ticket yesterday and scratched it for to win $10,000, they couldn’t be happier.

“We’re expecting our third child in April. So this money will help us a lot with baby expenses and Christmas.

Our four-year-old knows something exciting is going on because she gets to go pick out a toy.”
Samantha

Matthew works at Wal-Mart in Wichita and plays the lottery every other week in two ways: he buys $20 company stock and $10 scratch tickets.

“It took me awhile to get something really big – just keep trying.

Last Thursday, I bought two $2 Lucky Lines tickets and three $2 Bonus Crosswords.

On the very first ticket I scratched, one of the Lucky Lines, I won $10,000.

I had a guy rubbing my head at work yesterday; trying to find some luck to help him win the Powerball.”
Matthew

Apart from the upcoming baby the Hunts have two daughters: a 4 year old and a 1 year old.

Monday, Jun. 9, 2008

Four mates share in $60m win

FOUR Melbourne workmates have shared a powerball jackpot of almost $60 million after a spur-of-the moment decision over coffee to buy a ticket.

A member of the syndicate, who was not named, said he did not give his ticket a second thought the morning after the draw, but bought a newspaper after he heard his local suburb, Reservoir, mentioned on the radio.

“Although we don’t know yet what we are going to do with all this money, we aren’t going to be silly about it,” he said. “Two of us are single and two are married. I think we’ll invest most of the money and we’ll help some charities.”

They’ll share $58,737,207.41 – the biggest lottery win in Australian history.

Dean Schultz, the owner of the Lakeside Newsagency, where the winning ticket was sold, said he was stunned. “I got a call from Gerry Devine from Tattersall’s – and I know who he is – and I said: ‘I didn’t’, and he said, ‘You did’.”

Mr Schultz said he took personal delight in selling the ticket. “It’s not as good as winning the money, obviously, but it’s the next best thing. Just to think what it will do for them – I’m rapt.”

NSW Lottery’s spokesman, John Vineburg, said there was “usually a long pause” when people heard they’d won. “Many people will say they’re going to pay off their house, and we’ll say: ‘OK, that will put a hole in a few hundred thousand, what about the other X million dollars?”

Tim Sanderson, from financial advice firm Count Financial, said the lucky winner could easily earn $3 million a year after investing the money.

“But the key is to prevent yourself spending all that money first. A lot of people will put the money into a 30-day term deposit so they can’t spend the money until they’ve seen an adviser,” he said.

Wednesday, Jun. 4, 2008

Kellogg’s worker won’t change much after winning $1M lottery jackpot

Nancy Edwards headed to work $1 million richer this afternoon.

Edwards, a Cave Spring, Georgia, resident employed at the Kellogg’s plant in Rome, received a check today for winning the Georgia Lottery scratch-off game Cash Explosion then headed to her job at the plant.

The presentation was held during her lunch break at the Kangaroo station located at 3131 Maple St. in Lindale where Edwards purchased the $10 ticket from clerk, and friend, Tia Frick.

“I’m so happy that I sold the $1 million winner to someone I know who’s from here,” Frick said.

Edwards said that after scratching the ticket, she excitedly showed it to Frick.

“I was laughing, crying and my knees were shaking,” she said.

Edwards won the fifth of 10 $1-million prizes from the Cash Explosion game, which premiered in January. After about 32 percent taxes, she will receive $34,500 per year for 20 years.

Edwards and her husband, Roger, have four children and eight grandchildren. They plan to take a vacation to Hawaii but don’t expect to make major changes to their day-to-day lives.

Of course, family members may have other plans — grandson Avery Hall has already asked for a new skateboard.

Friday, May. 30, 2008

$13M winner to buy pal a new car

With $13.6 million in the bank, Lotto 6/49 winner Fred Stonos is going to buy the Welland convenience store cashier who sold him his winning ticket a new car.

Stonos, 44, who has worked in a mill for 25 years, said yesterday he regularly repairs cashier Sandy Nero’s car. She regularly sold him lottery tickets, including the one for the May 10 draw that made him a multi-millionaire.

“I fix her car all the time,” said the Welland resident. “I told her if I won, I would buy her a new car.”

Nero learned that she would be getting a new vehicle from Stonos in a cellphone call.

“I am so excited,” Nero said. “I can’t wait to see it.”

Stonos said he plans quit his job and buy a new fishing rod and Harley Davidson motorcycle.

The single man was joined at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.’s offices on Dundas St. W. yesterday by his parents, Fred, 79, and Wanda, 76.

“We are very excited for him,” Fred said. “He’s a good son and we feel good for him.”

Friday, May. 9, 2008

Man who lost homes in Katrina claims $97M Powerball prize

A construction company owner who lost two homes in Hurricane Katrina claimed a $97 million Powerball prize, a jackpot won off a ticket he bought at a convenience store where he stopped to buy his wife a gallon of milk.

When he turned in the winning ticket, Carl Hunter became the largest Powerball winner in Louisiana’s history. He won the jackpot in January, but the 73-year-old small businessman waited nearly four months to claim the prize.

An avid lottery player, Hunter said he already had bought a Powerball ticket on Jan. 16 at the gas station less than two blocks from his home in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie. But he stopped at the station again that day to buy milk — at the request of his wife, Dianne — and got a second “quick pick” ticket.

“I had some change, and one dollar was used to buy this ticket,” Hunter said Thursday at the Louisiana Lottery Corp. headquarters in Baton Rouge, where he claimed his prize.

“It’s all about milk,” his wife said, smiling.

The couple, surrounded by cameras, was decidedly low-key about the multimillion dollar win, saying they didn’t have specific plans for the money — besides retirement and the rebuilding of a camp lost to Katrina.

“I’m retiring, you know, naturally,” Carl Hunter said.

Hunter took a lump sum payment that will give him $33.9 million after taxes, according to lottery officials. Asked why he waited so long to turn in the winning ticket, Hunter said he wanted to wrap up some of his construction work and finish his outstanding contracts. In fact, Hunter’s wife Dianne said he was still at work this week.

“I don’t think about buying elaborate cars or homes,” Carl Hunter said.

Hunter said he owned two homes that were destroyed in 2005 by Katrina, and he and his wife moved into a Metairie home she owned after the storm, the home that was near the gas station where he bought his winning ticket.

The multimillion dollar win wasn’t Hunter’s first winning lottery ticket. He said he won $5,000 off a ticket a few years ago.

West Metairie Shell, the gas station where Hunter bought his ticket, will get $25,000 for selling the winning ticket. The station, tucked among brick ranch homes and raised wooden houses in a middle-class neighborhood, lost its roof during Katrina, and the store was looted.

Monday, Nov. 5, 2007

Single Mom Wins $2,000 For Life: Home & Education

A 56-year-old single mom from Long Island hit the jackpot at a time when she was about to lose her home, New York lottery officials said Friday.

Rosa Torres, a cashier who juggles two jobs, won $2,000 weekly for life after buying four lottery tickets with the $20 she luckily picked from the ground on the way to a 7-Eleven convenience store in New Hyde Park.

The unexpected result of the scratch-off game was the answer to her prayers, said the native of El Salvador. Not only was she able to save her house from foreclosure, she can now pay for her daughter’s college tuition at the New York University.

Torres split the prize with her 21-year-old daughter, Jessica and fiancé, mechanic Juan Duarte.

They will receive the $2,000 weekly payout as long as they live. The New York State Lottery guarantees a minimum $2 million payment.

Torres, who has since quit one of her jobs, plans to donate part of the proceeds to a children’s hospital.

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007

Lottery win for cancer survivor

A great grandmother who has beaten cancer twice is sharing a Lottery win of almost £1m ($2m).

Margaret Pinnell, 65, from Cardiff, is part of a five-strong syndicate with husband John, and their daughter, that won £962,302 in Saturday’s draw.

Mrs Pinnell, who has raised hundreds of pounds for Cancer Research Wales, also celebrated the birth of her second great-grandchild on the same night.

She said: “This just goes to show that ordinary people do win.”

Mr and Mrs Pinnell collected their cheque at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, where Mr Pinnell, 67, had worked as a labourer.

The mother-of-five said she planned to buy the council house in Ely where she has lived for 43 years.

The former betting office deputy manager was at home when the six winning numbers – 4, 15, 25, 27, 33 and 40 – came up. She first thought she had won £10.

It was the second event of the night for her as, hours earlier, she had learned of the birth of great-grandson Callum Davies.

At a press conference at the stadium, members of her family broke down in tears as Mrs Pinnell told of her struggles with cancer.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and underwent a mastectomy on her left breast, before being given the all-clear last November.

In 2003 she developed kidney cancer, and had the organ removed.

She said: “We haven’t had the best luck over the last few years, particularly health wise, but finally things are changing.

“You see a lot of winners with posh houses, but we’ve had to scrimp and save all our lives. Now we can have a marvellous retirement.

“We formed the syndicate seven years ago.

“We’ve had the odd three numbers in the past and even five numbers once, but we only ever dreamt about a win as big as this.”

After her illnesses, Mrs Pinnell went on to raise hundreds of pounds for Cancer Research UK.

Her efforts included abseiling from a tall building and having her head shaved ahead of chemotherapy treatment.

Retired Mr Pinnell, 67, who helped build the Millennium Stadium, said it felt “lovely” to return to the city centre landmark in such happy circumstances.

The couple, who have been married for 47 years, hope to holiday in Tenerife and the UK.

Their daughter, mother-of-four Wendy Attley, 45, said she was planning a trip to Hawaii.

She added: “I took my shoes off and ran around to the house, thinking there was something wrong. I had to check the ticket 20 times when I was told we’d won.”

One of the two other syndicate members, both friends of the Pinnells, is on holiday and is still unaware of the win, Mrs Pinnell said. The other does not wish to be identified.

Monday, Jul. 30, 2007

Woman reunited with missing $2400 after four years

A FORGOTTEN bank account gave one woman a surprise when she was reunited with £1,200 ($2400) she thought she had lost.

Gwen Iveson of St Mary’s Mount, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, put £1,200 she inherited in a savings account four years ago. But when the 22-year-old tried to gain access to the money, she could not remember which bank she had used.

The panic-stricken care worker wrote to a number of banks and building societies to find the whereabouts of the money, before she discovered the National Savings and Investments tracer service.

She said: “I knew it must be somewhere, but I just didn’t know where.”

Three months later, National Savings and Investments got back in touch and told her the missing money was safe with them.

Miss Iveson said she was delighted to be reunited with her money. She said: “It was a fabulous service and without it, I wouldn’t have got my money back.”
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Miss Iveson is one of 43,000 customers of National Savings and Investments who have been reunited with £42m since the launch of the tracing service in 2001.

But they hope the launch of a campaign will reunite even more people with lost money.

With £435m remaining unclaimed, bank bosses are urging anyone unsure of the whereabouts of their money to use their free service.

Peter Cornish, of National Savings and Investments, said: “We want to help reunite as many people as possible with savings they have forgotten they had invested with us.

“We have launched an advertising campaign to jog as many memories as possible.”

The most common reason people lose track of their accounts is moving home without transferring their address.

Others forget about accounts that were opened for them as children. And unless executors are aware that a deceased person has accounts, the money may become forgotten.

Friday, Jul. 13, 2007

Lottery winner lives dream selling cars

All Fred Brown ever wanted to do was sell cars.

He didn’t realize that goal also would land him on a cable television show. But that’s what happened to Brown, now the general manager of Garnsey & Wheeler Ford of Greeley and Fort Morgan, who is the subject of an upcoming show on The Learning Channel.

The show, which will probably be aired in the coming months, is about lottery winners who have gone on to successful careers despite their lottery windfall. Brown won $6 million in the Colorado Lottery in 1993, shortly after he graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a business administration degree. Through persistence, he finally landed a job as a car salesman with Garnsey & Wheeler.

“Herrick (Garnsey) didn’t want to hire me at first. Car salesmen work on 100 percent commission, and since I had just won the lottery, he didn’t think I would have enough incentive to sell cars,” Brown said. But that was his goal dating back to his early learning days in his home state of Hawaii. “My mom once said I even tried to sell my Match Box cars on the street,” Brown said with a laugh.

Brown won the lottery in December 1993 and started his career with Garnsey & Wheeler in July of the following year after hounding Garnsey, then president and general manager of the longtime Greeley dealership, for a job.

A film crew with Beyond Productions of Bethesda, Md., was in Greeley earlier this month filming Brown and his family, which includes his wife, Barbara, and his children, Andrew, 12, and Alli, 9. The crew also visited the dealership in west Greeley.

Brown said he is not sure how he was chosen for the program, which he understands is a follow-up to a program TLC aired a few months back on lottery winners who squandered their winnings.

“I guess they are doing one showing the other side,” he said.

Brown said that he and his then-new wife were struggling to make ends meet when he won the lottery. She was working at two jobs and was about to lose one of them, so they were going over their finances. They had played the lottery regularly and decided the $100 a year they were spending on the lottery would remain part of their budget.

“That was our dream money,” he said. He also was heating his garage at the time with kerosene, and it was agreed that when the latest supply ran out, they wouldn’t buy any more.

“But she didn’t know when I ran out,” Brown said with a wry smile. “I went down to the Agland store on 16th Street, bought five gallons of kerosene, which cost $6, and had $4 left. So I bought three quick picks and one with the numbers we always played.” One of the quick picks was the $6 million winner.

That set the pair up for life, but Brown still wanted to sell cars. He finally got the job and worked hard at it, became general sales manager in March 2004 and was named general manager in October 2005, where he is in charge of the company’s 120 employees.

“I still have to make sure our salesmen make their commissions,” he said.

Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2007

Lottery winner believes in sharing

“We are wondering how to spend the money but one thing’s for sure – we’re going to ensure that all our loved ones are taken care of.”

A woman who won £9.3 million on the lottery sent her brother’s family a cheque for £1,000, saying, “Treat yourselves.”

Mega-rich Irene Jones and husband Ron pledged to “look after” close relatives when they scooped the fortune last October.

Irene, 69, told a champagne press conference, “We are wondering how to spend the money but one thing’s for sure – we’re going to take our time and ensure that all our loved ones are taken care of.”

Her only brother Len Powell, 72, and his wife May were told to expect a cheque in the post.

The couple was on a holiday when the envelope came and son Mark opened it with trembling hands, expecting to find at least £1million.

Mark, 37, was stunned to find a cheque for just £1,000.

Monday, Jun. 18, 2007

Lottery millionaire goes back to work

Just weeks after scooping £1.1 million on the National Lottery, Joanne Gilbert, 47, has returned to her old job working in a hospital laundry at Cwmbran’s Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital.

Though practically everyone would have understood if she swanned off to exotic locations and bought a big house, Ms Gilbert said she could not leave behind such an important part of her life.

“I know it might seem strange to some people but I’ve been working at the hospital for 21 years, and it is a big part of my life,” said Ms Gilbert.

“I just wanted to get back to normality. The best way doing that was to stay in my old routine, including going back to work. I’m determined to keep my feet on the ground and just wanted to put my life back on an even keel after all the excitement.”

Ms Gilbert will also continue living in her modest £90,000 terraced house in Abertillery.

Ms Gilbert discovered she had won the jackpot whilst staying with her family in a Caravan park in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

“The Lotto draw was happening on the television, so I decided to get a pen and paper to check the numbers,” she recalled.

“All of a sudden I realised I’d written down all six of my regular numbers. I went to see my friends Kay and Tony who stay in the caravan pitch next to mine and we all just stood there looking at the ticket in disbelief.”

Her winning numbers were a mixture of family birthdays that she has used ever since the lottery began. She has also said that she will continue to play the lottery.

Ms Gilbert, who has just returned from a holiday in Turkey with her only son Marcus, 31, and his girlfriend, also plans to make a life-long dream come true and take her family to Disneyland in Florida.

However, she has warned off any potential suitors that may have any designs on her and her new fortune.

“Don’t bother, I’m happy living on my own with my two dogs,” Ms Gilbert quipped.

Thursday, Jun. 7, 2007

Megabucks mystery solved

A Swanton man who read a news report about unclaimed Megabucks winnings discovered he had one of the $10,000 tickets in his wallet, Vermont Lottery officials said.

Jon Trahan purchased several tickets in February at the Swanton Short Stop but then lost his wallet containing the tickets during an out-of-state trip, said Lottery officials.

When police returned the wallet, the cash was missing, but the lottery tickets were still there.

Trahan recently checked his tickets and found one of the $10,000 winners.

He said he has no immediate plans for his winnings.

Thursday, Apr. 26, 2007

Grandad scoops mega Lotto win

Grandad Quentin Waite celebrated quite modestly after winning £263,783 on the National Lottery by buying a new pair of work boots – and a £19,000 Ford Focus car.

The 52-year-old from All Cannings scooped the cash after matching five balls and the bonus ball in the Lotto draw on March 31.

He plans to carry on working full time as a shot blaster with nephew Martin Wild at MDN Shot Blasting Service and Powder Coating Company on A361 Beckhampton Road near Devizes, although he has vowed to blow some money opn buyinh his own home.

“I wouldn’t be happy to be staying home, I would get bored,” he said, of his decision not to take a career sabatical. “I’m still shaking, I still can’t believe I’ve won this amount of money.”

Money has always been tight for Mr Waite, who is divorced. When he and his ex-wife parted he brought up their three children alone and relied on benefits. He now has five grandchildren.

After buying what would become his extremely lucky ticket, he kept it on the front seat of his car all through the weekend of the draw and only found out he’d won when he took it into Tesco in Devizes on the Monday morning.

Having been given the good news he went straight to work, where Mr Wild checked it for him again after waiting an agonising 45 minutes until Camelot telephone lines were open.

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007

Jackpot mother quits shelf-stacking job

A supermarket shelf-stacker said today she has quit work and is planning a shopping spree in New York after hitting the National Lottery jackpot.

Celestina Setterlund, a mother-of-three from Newport, South Wales, said her life has been changed forever after she won £1,173,269 by matching six numbers in Saturday’s Lotto draw.

The 33-year-old, who works part-time at Sainsbury’s, intends to buy a new Land Rover for her partner Carl as well as a larger house with the cash windfall.

After matching the numbers, Ms Setterlund said she was initially too stunned to speak and had to get her 13-year-old daughter Leyla to break the news to Carl, who was working the night shift at a battery factory.

Ms Setterlund said: “He came back at about half nine and then had to go back to work because he’d left all the machines on.”

Once the news had sunk in, Ms Setterlund said she spent the night celebrating and drinking champagne with family until 5.30am.

So far, the only other treat Ms Setterlund has allowed herself is a burger and a pint of lager with her sister Angie at a pub.

She has also had to turn down requests from her youngest daughter, 8-year-old Mia, to finish school and have a pony.

She said: “When I found out I had won I screamed the house down with my daughter. This money will change our lives. It will make us financially secure.”

The couple have had success on the lottery before, matching five numbers on two previous occasions.

She added: “I always used to say that I was going to win the lottery one day but I never really expected to win it. I’m just overwhelmed by it all.”

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007

Couple wins $15 million lottery jackpot after redeeming $10,000 ticket

For a Nevada couple, good things come in twos. And that includes winning big Powerball jackpots in Arizona — twice.

Just days after winning $10,000 with a ticket bought at a northern Arizona café, Barry and Barbara Salzman traveled to Phoenix to collect their winnings and ended up buying another ticket from the Arizona Lottery office. It just happened to be the $15 million jackpot winner.

“Of course I don’t believe it, I just don’t believe it happened,” Barry Salzman said at a press conference this morning.

Salzman, who works in real estate investment, crossed the Nevada-Arizona state line to purchase his $10,000 winning ticket from Rosie’s Den, located on the state Highway 93. Nevada does not participate in the Powerball lottery, and Salzman would usually purchase a Powerball ticket in Arizona whenever the jackpot amount was high, such as that weekend when the amount reached $240 million.

Although Salzman won the $10,000 on Jan. 20, bad weather delayed him from cashing in the ticket. On Friday, he went to the Arizona Lottery headquarters, where he purchased another ticket for Saturday’s drawing. That ticket would be the $15 million winner.

“[This money] gives us tremendous security,” said Barbara Salzman, Salzman’s wife. “We plan on giving our daughter her first house and helping our son get started with his computer company, and also giving money to charities and paying off our house.”

The Salzmans declined to reveal which charities they would support.

The Salzmans elected to receive their prize in cash, which will be paid out as a check by the Multi State Lottery Association, according to a press release from the Arizona Lottery. Their winning numbers were 10, 19, 26, 27, 32, with a Powerball of 14.

Salzman is the first winner not from a Powerball state to hit the Powerball jackpot. The ticket, the ninth Powerball winner sold in Arizona, was the first winning one to be sold from the Arizona Lottery Phoenix office.

Just last week, a Missouri World War II veteran won the $240 million Powerball jackpot. Last November, the “Arizona 9,” which includes seven co-workers and two spouses, won and shared half of the $94.1 million jackpot. More than 27,000 Arizonans won some amount of prize money from the Powerball on Saturday.

“This is phenomenal for Salzman, and phenomenal for Arizona,” said Art Macias, executive director of the Arizona Lottery. “The Powerball does good things, and we are all big winners here.”

Salzman began his winning streak when he matched four numbers and the Powerball with his ticket that fetched $10,000.

Upon winning $15 million, Barbara Salzman couldn’t believe it.

“I read every Web site, and it took me hours before I believed it,” she said. “It still probably has not [sunk in], but we don’t really expect huge changes in our life.”

Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007

2.5m Lotto winner told her own fortune

A STUDENT who won £2.5 million on the Lottery told yesterday how her dream had literally come true.

Kerri Cartwright, 28, landed the jackpot in Wednesday’s draw after dreaming about the moment just a week before.

The single mother, from Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, toasted her £2,543,691 win with champagne.

She described how the windfall would change her life and help secure her three-year-old daughter Stephani’s future.

Ms Cartwright is currently studying for an HNC in administration and IT at James Watt College, and also works part-time at a golf club.

Flanked by her delighted sister Joy, 30, and mother Liz, 55, she said: “This will definitely change my life. I will probably defer my course and may not go back to it. I am stunned and it’s very surreal at the moment. I feel like it’s not happening to me.”

Ms Cartwright then spoke of the premonition that came to her the night after buying her ticket at a Tesco store in Greenock.

She said: “I had a dream that I had won the Lottery. It was so real I told my boss about it and he joked it would be nice – and then told me to get back to work.

“The win means the world to me as I won’t ever have to worry about things again.”

She said she would be splashing out on a dream holiday to Disney World in America for all her family, and would also be buying two new cars for herself – “a sensible family car” and a sports car.

Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2007

World War II veteran, 84, claims $254M Powerball prize; among largest in history

A World War II veteran and his family stepped forward Monday to claim a Powerball jackpot worth more than a quarter-billion dollars, one of the largest single-ticket lottery prizes in U.S. history.

Jim Wilson II, 84, and his wife, Shirley, 79, claimed the winning prize from last Wednesday’s drawing, along with their three sons.

“I was absolutely astonished,” said Jim Wilson, a retired electrician who served in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in Africa and Europe, at an afternoon news conference. “I couldn’t believe it, and still don’t.”

He bought the winning ticket _ with the numbers 9-19-29-42-53 and a Powerball number of 17 _ at a grocery store in St. Louis County. The store will get $50,000.

When the Wilsons learned they had won, they got professional financial advice before claiming the prize.

Jim Wilson II has the option of receiving $254 million in 30 payments over 29 years, or accepting a lump-sum payment worth $120 million before taxes.

The couple said they will share the money with their sons. The St. Louis family has been buying family Powerball tickets for years with the understanding that they’d share any winnings, the Missouri Lottery said.

Two sons _ Bill, 54, and Jim III, 59 _ lost their jobs in the past year, though Bill Wilson has found a new one. Another son, Terry, 53, said he hasn’t had a vacation in 30 years and will probably go to Australia.

The couple also said they will set aside money for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The Wilsons’ prize is the 10th-largest single-ticket lottery prize in world history, with all 10 coming from the United States, Missouri Lottery officials said. The largest was a $365 million prize won by eight Nebraska meatpacking plant workers in February 2006.

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007

A millionaire but won’t quit his job

Waukegan High School Counselor Ray Cave is just like any other person.

He spends time with his son, hangs out at a local tavern and supports local high school athletics.

That has all changed since Dec. 21 when he scratched off a game-winning $1 million Instant Lotto ticket, assuring him of $720,000 after state taxes.

“There were only four people in Jesters at the time, including the cook and the bartender,” Cave said. “I kept scratching off the winning ticket and the more I scratched it went up from 1,000 to 10,000, and I began shaking the more I scratched it off.”

Cave did not believe he won after realizing the ticket was worth a million.

“I had the bartender verify the winnings in a scanning machine and I realized I won. I called my girlfriend, my relatives and they all didn’t believe me, which was disappointing,” Cave said.

The anxiety crept up on him when he returned to his Waukegan home. He said he was sick to his stomach and “was afraid to go to sleep because he thought he would wake up and realize it was a dream he won a million dollars at Jesters.”

His stomach pains over the anxiety caused him to call in sick for the day at Waukegan High.

Despite the winnings, Cave does not anticipate quitting his job as a full-time counselor at Waukegan High.

“Absolutely not. There are too many great kids there. I have been there for 16 years from being everything from a teacher to wrestling coach and now I am a counselor,” he said. “I plan on staying there to set an example for my son, Michael.”

Cave said he is looking forward to using the winnings to take care of his son’s short- and long-term future.

His number one priority after he receives the winnings is to set up a trust fund for his son so he can attend any college of his choice.

“I want him to know that his college tuition is taken care of,” Cave said.

The newfound winnings will allow the two Caves to do more extra activities his son would have never dreamed.

“We do a lot of things together, such as going to professional baseball games, fishing. We love to fish. We go fishing around the area here,” Cave said. “In the summer we go to the beach. I try to be active with him as much as I can. What I am really looking forward is to is professional events such as football and basketball.”

With the expensive prices of football and basketball games, he was unable to take his son to the games prior to his winning ticket.

“He loves football just as much as I do. He is a huge Bear fan and what I am really excited about is instead of saying, ‘We will watch the Bears on TV, we will see the Bears,'” Cave said. “Those are the memories my son will remember for life.”

The 48-year-old is hoping the wealth will not change peoples’ perspective of him.

“I want to stay the person I am. I love the people around me, I love the people here at Jesters and I love the people at Waukegan High School. I want to be the same person,” Cave said. “I want to still be able to walk into Jesters and people still greet me as ‘Rey’ and just be known as someone more financially comfortable.”

In addition to being part of Waukegan High, he is a part-time teacher at the College of Lake County’s Lakeshore Campus.

“I plan on completing my one-year contract with them and then resigning,” Cave said. “I spent every Monday night doing paperwork until 10 and now I look forward to watching “Monday Night Football” here at Jesters.”

Cave has a sense of sentimentality toward what he does for a living and stresses the importance of children and the impact it has had in his life.

“I could have made much more money working for a corporation but I felt that my calling was to be in education and work with teenagers and helping them,” Cave said. “Instead of receiving financial gain in this, I received what people perceive as priceless, working with kids and watching kids I have seen since grade school mature and grow into a successful young people. For me, that is priceless over any amounts of money.”

As he receives his $720,000 lump sum from the Illinois Lottery Commission, he will be working with Great Lakes Financial, his bank, to set up a financial plan.

The newest millionaire was struck twice with lottery fever, winning $10,000 in a previous scratch off at the same place, Jesters at 1500 N. Lewis Ave.

“I had to claim the winnings at the lottery center in Des Plaines and I held onto it and feared it wouldn’t be legit when I deposited it into the bank,” Cave said.

Jesters will receive $10,000 of the winnings for being the location which issued the ticket.

Jesters’ owner Ken Mathis will use the $10,000 for cost of bar operations and due to the slow activity since the holiday rush, will be used to help offset costs.

Monday, Nov. 27, 2006

Man lucky with wife’s birthday

A man in Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province recently won 6.38 million yuan (US$786,683) on the lottery using the numbers from his wife’s date of birth.

Zhao claimed his prize on Wednesday. He said he started buying lottery tickets several years ago, always using the numbers from his wife’s birthdate to express his love for her. Years ago she overlooked his poverty and married him against her family’s wishes.

Zhao plans to start his own business with the winnings and hopes his wife and child have a rich and happy life.

Friday, Nov. 24, 2006

Lottery winnings bankroll dream for aspiring doctor

Douglas Fader has heard the stories about winners of big lottery jackpots who squandered their winnings. His former co-worker Sara M. Richmond, he says, isn’t one of them.

Richmond, 36, formerly of Fairgrove, won $250,000 in a Michigan Lottery instant game four years ago. She’s using the money — $170,000 after taxes — to put herself through medical school.

Richmond has spent the past three years enrolled at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine. She expects to graduate in June 2008, then complete a three-year residency at a hospital before opening her own practice.

“Without the money, I really don’t know how this would have worked out,” Richmond told The Bay City Times for a story published Friday. “It would have been doable, but it would have been difficult.”

Richmond and Fader were working as emergency medical technicians for the Vassar Area Ambulance Service when Richmond bought the winning ticket on Nov. 8, 2002 at McGee’s Convenience Store in Fairgrove, 100 miles north of Detroit in Lower Michigan’s Thumb region.

“The lottery winners you hear about usually are the ones who lose it all,” said Fader, 60, who still works as an EMT. “But Sara’s the kind of person who can succeed at whatever she has her mind set on doing. It just takes time.”

Richmond already had been accepted to medical school by the time she hit the jackpot. So she and her husband Greg used the cash to pay off debts on two cars and to buy a home on five acres of woodlands near West Newfield, Maine.

“She said that the price of rent is so high out East that you might as well buy something right away,” Fader said, “because you’d pay all that rent while going to medical school and have nothing to show for it.”

Richmond said she and her husband may decide to sell their home and use the proceeds to help pay off the more than $200,000 she’ll owe after medical school. She hasn’t decided where she will set up her own practice, but she expects to spend about a month next year at Bay Regional Medical Center in Bay City on one of her clinical rotations.

To Fader, Richmond won the lottery money for a reason.

“In the ambulance business, you do see miracles happen, and to me that’s what this was,” he said. “She was supposed to win that money, and she did, and that’s what I told her.”

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006

Winnipeg woman scratches out a $1 million living

BEV Wiebe was grinning from ear to ear when she was introduced as Manitoba’s latest millionaire.

“It’s truly been surreal,” Wiebe, 47, said Tuesday afternoon during a news conference organized by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation.

Wiebe has become Manitoba’s fourth SET FOR LIFE winner during the past five months, scratching the $5 card to reveal the three correct symbols earning her the top $1 million prize. [The Insider’s Guide Instant Win Tickets Pulltabs: How to Win! How to Sell! How to Profit]

“I could barely sleep last night,” Wiebe said.

Wiebe, a social worker with Child and Family Services, had bought her winning scratch ticket at the Shell station on Provencher Boulevard late Monday night. She said it wasn’t a straightforward purchase.

Wiebe said she bought two $5 scratch tickets, winning five dollars on the second purchase which she cashed in for another $5 scratch ticket, but the third was worthless.

“I turned to leave and was literally half-way out the door when I thought ‘why not buy one more?,” Wiebe said. “It was the last SET FOR LIFE ticket under the glass on the counter.

“I scratched one row and found one Life symbol. I scratched the second row and found another Life symbol. I scratched the third row and found the third Life symbol.

“I could barely contain my excitement,” she said.

Contrary to many people’s fantasies about what they would do if they won the lottery, Wiebe said she did absolutely nothing.

There’ve been no spontaneous shopping sprees, no impulsive purchases. She went directly to her St. Boniface home after scratching the winning ticket, called her parents and a couple of good friends and let them know about her fantastic turn of fortune. And then stayed up all night with excitement.

Instead of going to work Tuesday morning, she called her office and said she wouldn’t be in. She then called the Western Canada Lottery office to inform them she held a winning SET FOR LIFE scratch ticket. [Winning The Lottery In Your Spare Time: (With Very Little Money)]

Wiebe came to the afternoon conference accompanied by her parents and four close friends. She was impeccably dressed. Her reddish tinted hair was set off nicely with a green leather jacket, black top and silver necklace. She’s single, never been married, with no children. She owns her own modest home in St. Boniface.

Wiebe said she has no plans on how to spend her $1 million but doesn’t expect to quit her job.

Thursday, Oct. 5, 2006

$200 Million Powerball Jackpot Couple Plans To Keep Working

A couple from Fort Dodge, Iowa stepped forward to claim the $200.8 million Powerball prize.

The Iowa Lottery announced Wednesday morning that Tim and Kellie Guderian won the jackpot. They bought the winning ticket on Sept. 23 in Fort Dodge, KCCI-TV reported.

The couple met at while working at Wal-Mart. Tim Guderian is an auto detailer and Kellie Guderian has worked for Wal-Mart for nine years. They have been married for seven years.

The jackpot is the largest won in Iowa and is the largest in Iowa Lottery’s history. The winning ticket numbers were computer picked. They were 13-21-26-45-50 and Powerball 20.

“What a stroke of luck,” Tim Guderian said. “Fortunately, it is not a dream and we are very much awake.”

The Guderians chose to take the lump-sum payment, which amounts to $67 million after taxes.

They plan on staying in their current house and do some remodeling. He said they plan to take their first trip since their honeymoon, pay bills and buy a car.

“As surprising as this may seem, we both want to continue working … we may not have to work, but hard working is our way of life,” Tim Guderian said.

Kellie Guderian said they also plan on making gifts to their family, church and the community of Fort Dodge, including the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and the humane society.

Powerball began in 1985 and is played in 29 States, Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands.

The record Powerball jackpot was $365 million won by eight workers at a Nebraska meatpacking plant in February.

“We just want to keep our lives as normal as possible,” he said.

Friday, Sep. 29, 2006

Checkout workers continue despite $14 million lottery win

For those lucky enough to scoop the Lotto jackpot it is usually a ticket to unbridled luxuries and a lifetime without work.

But for a group of checkout girls who won £7.5 million in Saturday night’s Superdraw, resigning is the last thing on their minds.

Instead, they have returned to their tills at Tesco and insist on remaining there for the foreseeable future, despite each pocketing £750,000.

Yesterday, as they celebrated their incredible win with a bottle of champagne the ladies spoke of their determination to continue with their part-time jobs.

Hilary Cox, a 60-year-old mother-of-three who has worked at the store in Sudbury, Suffolk, for the last 10 years, insisted: “I’ve got no plans to ditch and run from my job just yet.

“Our customers are marvellous. We all felt we had to come back because we love it here and we did not want to let our colleagues down. Between us we know a lot of them and we would all miss them if we left.

“They keep telling us that it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of girls.”

Mrs Cox added: “It is too early to decide what to do in the long term. We’ve got to let it all sink in first. The win will undoubtedly make life easier – but it will not lead to major changes.

“All, but one of us, is nearing retirement age and are pretty level-headed. We still haven’t celebrated yet and I don’t think there is going to be any wild parties – but we might all go out for a meal together.”

The syndicate – made up of nine workers and one former employee – shared the £15 million jackpot with one other winner after matching the numbers 6, 26, 28, 35, 42 and 43.

The winning line was chosen by mother-of-three Avis King, 64, who selected her current and former house numbers and date of birth.

She said: “We are still up in the clouds and haven’t come down to earth yet. One of the other women was checking the lottery numbers on Saturday and realised my line had come back.

“When I was told I was in shock from head to foot and felt ill. We couldn’t stop the news spreading once we got to work. Word even spread to Woolworths. But by then the story had got twisted and they wrongly heard that it was the staff in the Tesco bakery who had won.”

The other winners in the syndicate include Brenda Cleverley, 59, Shirley Hall, 67, and Shelagh Matthews, 56. The remaining five declined any publicity.

Eight of the staff – all but one of them grandmothers – have since returned to work. The ninth member is currently abroad for her son’s wedding but is planning to return to work as usual next week.

Most of the women said they were making plans to pay off their mortgages whilst also looking to invest in home improvements and a few luxury holidays.

Mrs Matthews, a mother-of-four who has worked at the store for 11 years, said: “A few years ago my husband and I went to Florida and when we got back, he said that if we ever won the lottery we should take the children and grandchildren there.”

She is also planning to buy another car but insisted she would buy second-hand. She added: “I don’t want to be the first to put a scratch on a car.”

Her colleague, Mrs Hall, who is the oldest syndicate member, said she was planning to pay off her children’s mortgages with the win adding: “I only work a couple of mornings a week because I love the company of people here since my husband died last year. We are all so happy.”

The syndicate has been operating at the store for nine years. All the women pay £1 for a line of numbers each every week in Saturday’s draw.

Last night a Tesco spokeswoman said: “We obviously want to congratulate them on their good fortune. It is marvellous news.”

Monday, Sep. 11, 2006

N.Y. woman wins $1 million lottery again

A woman who won $1 million from a state lottery game four years ago has improbably hit the jackpot again.

Valerie Wilson, who works at a Long Island deli, said she won another $1 million on a lottery scratch-off game last month.

“The first time I couldn’t believe it,” Wilson told Newsday. “This time I said, ‘God’s on my side.'”

Wilson, 56, beat some long odds to pull off her double victory.

In 2002, her winning ticket in the Cool Million scratch-off game, which has since been discontinued, was a shot of 1 in 5.2 million, according to the New York State Lottery. Last month, she beat odds of 1 in 705,600 when she got the $1 million prize in the New York lottery’s Jubilee scratch-off game.

Overall, her chances of winning both games were a slim 1 in 3,669,120,000,000.

A lottery spokeswoman verified Wilson was a Cool Million winner in 2002, but declined to confirm her latest win until a planned news conference. There have been only two previous repeat million-dollar-plus winners in the lottery’s history, according to the state.

Wilson still hasn’t quit her job at Emma’s Deli and Catering. Despite her unexpected bonus, Wilson plans to keep working until at least December, making sandwiches and ringing up sales.

The prize will be paid out in $50,000 installments over 20 years. Wilson said she used her first winnings to help buy homes for her three children.

“This one is going to be for me,” she said. “I’m going to live a little bit.”

Lottery win will help fund woman’s wedding

A Clinton County woman now has enough money to pay for a good portion of her upcoming wedding.

Tonya Doescher, 33, of Camanche, won $15,000 playing the “On A Roll” instant scratch ticket. Her girlfriends gave her several such tickets as a gift at a recent engagement party.

“I always play scratch-offs. So (my girlfriends) bought me a couple of tickets as their gift to me because they know I’m a freak about scratch-offs!” Doescher told lottery officials. “I told them (now) they don’t have to buy me a wedding gift!”

Doescher’s friends purchased her winning ticket at North Bridge Self Serve, 119 19th Ave. N. , Clinton.

“I didn’t (scratch it) until after the party. I was so excited. I started crying because I couldn’t believe it. It still hasn’t hit me yet.”

Doescher claimed her prize at the Iowa Lottery’s regional office in Cedar Rapids.

The money “will probably disappear once I pay all the people for my wedding next year,” she said with a laugh.

Doescher and her fiancé, Casey, have been looking into a Las Vegas dream wedding on Super Bowl Sunday this winter.

“We may actually be able to do that now,” she said.

On A Roll is a $2 scratch game. If “your roll” beats “their roll,” you win the prize shown for that roll. If a player uncovers a “money bag” symbol, they win that prize instantly.

KCK woman wins $20K in lottery

Betty Ward received the surprise of a lifetime when she checked her 2by2 Kansas Lottery ticket from the Sept. 5 drawing.

The Kansas City, Kan., resident matched all four numbers on a $1 Quick Pick 2by2 ticket, winning a top prize of $20,000.

Ward, who works in the customer service department at a Hen House grocery store in Overland Park, checked her winning ticket before she reported for work.

“I bought my ticket after work,” said Ward. “When I came back in to work (the next day), I thought I better see if I won anything. I checked my ticket on the Check-A-Ticket machine and it said, ‘See store clerk’. I had a co-worker, the customer service manager, check it on the lottery machine because I had never seen that before.”

After having her winning ticket checked on the lottery terminal, Ward still was unsure of her winnings.

“This time it said, ‘Claim at Lottery,’” Ward said. “I still didn’t know how much I’d won so we printed out the winning numbers from last night’s drawing.”

That’s when she realized she had won the $20,000 top prize.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Ward. “I went home and showed my husband.”

Aaron, Ward’s husband, couldn’t believe it either. He decided to see for himself. He looked up the winning numbers on the Kansas Lottery’s website.

“She was acting so calm and cool, I thought she was joking,” said Aaron. “I don’t think it has sunk in how much she has actually won.”

The couple has two daughters. They plan to use their prize money to pay bills.

Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2006

Lottery winning couple continues working at McDonald’s – buys house nearby

McDonald’s millionaire Lotto couple buy new dream house nearby – so they can walk to work

THE McDonald’s pair who won the lottery are buying a house 500 yards from their burger bar – so they can have the luxury of WALKING to work.

Lovers Emma Cox, 28, and 23-year-old Luke Pittard don’t drive and have always had to take a bus.

But that’s all set to change after their £1.3m Lotto win last month.

Emma said yesterday: “Luke went around looking for houses near McDonald’s. He saw one we liked and phoned the estate agents and we went down there to look at it.

“It feels good knowing we don’t have to struggle to buy it.

“We didn’t have to worry about the money. We could just go there and think ‘We can have that’.

“People must reckon we are mad to carry on working in McDonald’s with all that money in the bank.

“But we are determined to continue working there. We’ve been on holiday since we won the money – but I’m getting bored already.

“The new house is so close we can just walk around the corner to work.”

The pair are set to snap up the new £230,000 four-bedroom detached home – just a stone’s throw from the McDonald’s branch in Pontprennau, Cardiff, where they met four years ago.

The move will enable them to share a home with daughter Chloe, two, for the first time. Until now Emma and Luke have been living six miles apart with their parents – with Chloe dividing her time between mum and dad.

Luke said: “We just want to be a normal family like everyone else.

“I had to stay with my mum and only got to see Chloe from the Thursday to the Sunday.”

Emma earns £16,000-a-year as an area manager for the fast food giant and Luke is a £12,000-a-year staff trainer. He said: “If we didn’t go back to work all we’d be doing is sitting at home spending the money.

“We might as well go back to work and act like nothing’s changed. The only difference is we haven’t got money worries.”

He joked: “There’s not many people who are served by millionaires when they want a burger.”

The couple have already treated daughter Chloe to a new pushchair, clothes and toys. Emma said: “We can go to Mothercare, just go past a toy and we can take it to the counter and buy it instead of thinking ‘We’ll have to wait for that’.”

Emma’s mum Marilyn Cox, 55, is delighted with the couple’s amazing strike of good fortune.

She said: “I am so pleased for them. They have worked so hard. They deserve their good luck. It’s fantastic that Emma and Luke can finally get a home of their own.

“They have struggled for so long. It’s an absolute dream come true for them.”

Emma was at home with Marilyn when she checked her numbers and discovered she was a big winner.

But after sharing the good news Emma was forced to reveal to her mum that she had a secret vice.

She said: “I am a smoker but my mother didn’t know – and I’ve never lit up in front of her before.

“I was in such a state of shock I said ‘I’m sorry Mum – but I’ve just got to have a ciggie’.”

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