Friday, Feb. 20, 2009
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
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
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
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.”
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.”
Apart from the upcoming baby the Hunts have two daughters: a 4 year old and a 1 year old.
Monday, Jun. 9, 2008
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.”
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
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
“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
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
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.
Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007
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.