Timmie Julian, from Rayne, Louisiana, was on the Louisiana Lottery’s website when he noticed that the $5 Right on the Money Instant Game had only one jackpot prize remaining. Julian had a feeling he was going to find that last winning ticket. He went to his local grocery store and asked for a Right on the Money ticket. Sure enough, it was a $100,000.00 winner. Julian had won the final top prize in the game. Prior to this win, Julian had also won a $1,000.00 prize playing the Cherry Crossword scratch off game. At the check ceremony, Julian did not specify what he would do with the prize money but said it would go to a good cause.
The Louisiana Lottery encourages players to check their website regularly to see the odd of the games and the number of top prizes remaining.
Bill Hansen, of Long Island, New York, was loading his groceries into the trunk of his car when he realized that he had a $20 bill in his pocket and decided to go back into the supermarket and buy a scratch off ticket. That decision would ultimately change his life. He walked back into the store and selected a $500,000,000 Extravaganza instant ticket. He scratched it off right there in the store and at first glance thought he had won $5,000. Hansen asked the customer service desk employee to check the ticket. It didn’t sink in that he had won $5 million until they announced it on the loud speaker.
The retired crane worker and his wife Mary, have been married for over 50 years, claimed the winnings together. They were joined by their family. The Hansens will receive 20 annual payments of $125,000 each before taxes. They plan to use the money to take care of their extended family which includes six children, eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
John Jones, from Southampton, England, has been playing the National Lottery for the last 15 years. He was confident that one day he would win and now he has. Jones won a £55,861 jackpot on a Lucky Dip ticket.
A neighbor who comes by to help Jones with things around the house was the one who actually discovered the win. At first they thought he had matched 5 of the 6 numbers but when they double checked, they saw that he had matched the bonus ball as well. Jones plans to use his winnings to buy himself a new car, and give the one he has now to his neighbor as a thank you present. Jones also hopes to use some of the money to fly in a friend of his who lives in Finland for a visit. The retired lighting and sound technician is still considering how he will spend the rest of his winnings.
Before his $166 million jackpot win, James “Jimmy” Groves was living paycheck to paycheck on a meager salary stacking chairs at Madison Square Garden. He had been sued by his credit card company for $4,000 in unpaid principal and interest. He lived in Grant Houses, a public housing project in The Bronx, New York notorious for violent criminal activity.
Groves was a dedicated lottery player, buying tickets twice a week. He dreamt of what he would do if he won and how it would change his life. On the day he bought the ticket that resulted in his big win, Groves changed his playing strategy. He switched from his usual lump sum payment option to the annuity hoping that the change would turn his luck. Turns out, it did. Groves discovered his win the following day when he went to the nearby lottery retailer and got a print out of the winning numbers.
Groves will collect 26 yearly payments of $6.47 million before taxes. He says he will use the winnings to take care of his family. He intends to move out of Grant Houses and buy a big house with a backyard. He also wants to use the prize money to travel.
Ben Troidle, a retired engineer from Fairfield, Connecticut, loves to play the lottery. He plays the same set of numbers each time and never misses a draw. His lucky numbers are a combination of his three children’s birthdays. Troidle discovered his $1.1 million win when he checked the numbers on the lottery website using his cell phone. Troidle shared the good news with his wife Mary Ann and then they double checked the numbers on their home computer. Since Troidle plays every draw, he had purchased a CT Lottery Advance Action ticket for 25 draws and then got a bonus 26th drawing free. As luck would have it, he actually won the jackpot on the 26th drawing with the free ticket.
Troidle has decided to take a lump sum payment of $732,000 instead of receiving the prize as an annuity. He will end up with approximately $502,000 after taxes. He plans to share the jackpot with his children because it was their birth dates that won it for him.
Everyone knows the saying you have to play to win, but many seem to be forgetting that you have to check your numbers to claim a prize. An astonishing number of prizes go unclaimed in lotteries every year. The rules vary from state to state, lottery to lottery, but the majority allows one year to claim any prize winnings. If no one claims the prize money within the given time, the money is returned to the prize pool for future games and promotions.
One New Jersey winner, Melvin Milligan, was saved by a postmark date. Milligan had purchased the winning ticket in June 2000, put it in the junk drawer and forgot to check the drawing’s results. Nearly a year later, he was watching the news and they mentioned that a winning ticket remained unclaimed and was about to expire. Milligan dug through the junk drawer, located the ticket and immediately went to the store to have the ticket confirmed a $46 million winner. He signed the ticket, put it in an envelope and mailed it to the Lottery Headquarters.
The ticket arrived two days past the deadline but fortunately for Milligan and his wife, the decision makers at the lottery accepted the postmark date on the envelope and allowed him to collect the prize money.
Gareth Campbell, from Northern Ireland, was shopping at a local grocery store when a scratch ticket called Super 7s caught his eye. Campbell had always thought of seven as his lucky number so he decided to buy one of the tickets. He was too excited to wait so he scratched it off right there in the store and discovered that he had won £77,777, the grand prize jackpot.
The unemployed window cleaner knew exactly what he wanted to do with the money as soon as he won. Campbell isn’t going to splash out on a new car or luxurious vacations. He’s been unemployed for a few months and he’s decided to use the winnings to start up his own window cleaning business. The win will help him afford all of the tools he needs and he’ll have enough left over to give him a sense of security he’s never had before. Many lottery winners are extravagant in their spending after they collect their prize money and unfortunately many end up broke soon after. Hopefully, Campbell’s new business will be a success and his investment will have been a wise decision.
The Bolke Family matriarch collects money from her five children every week to buy lottery tickets. On the day she bought the $46.5 million winning ticket in Munster, Indiana, she only had $1.00 and told the cashier to give her anything. He chose the Mega Millions ticket and handed it to her. She tucked the ticket away in her purse and didn’t expect anything to happen. Shockingly, all six of the numbers on her ticket came up and she won $46.5 million. It was the first Mega Millions jackpot win in Hoosier Lottery history. The store where she purchased the ticket will receive a $100,000.00 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
The Bolke matriarch has decided to split the lump sum prize among her five children, Albert Bolke Jr. of Dyer, Indiana, Carl Bolke of Henderson, Nevada, Ann McClelland of Orland Park, Illinois, Marsha Nowaczyk of Calumet City, Illinois and Margaret Goll of Reno, Nevada. Each of them will take home approximately $5.8 million before taxes. All five of the siblings plan to use their share of the winnings to retire or begin making plans to retire.
When Plains, Georgia truck driver Kenneth Mooney, 57, went into a local gas station to buy a lottery ticket the clerk nicknamed him “Big Money,” most likely a play on his last name. The nickname turned out to be rather fitting when Mooney won $3 million on a Georgia Lottery Scratch Off Ticket. The best part about this particular winning ticket is that Mooney won’t have to pay taxes on the $3 million because he won it on a game called $3,000,000 Taxes Paid where the lottery pays the taxes. On all big lottery wins, the United States federal government taxes 25% and the state of Georgia also takes 6% of the win. Not having to pay taxes is like a second win for Mooney.
Mooney and his wife, Debbie, have four grown children and nine grandchildren. Mooney plans to use the winnings to buy a new home and new pickup truck. He also plans to put money into a trust for his grandchildren. He hopes to take a hunting vacation in South Texas soon.
When Debra Revis, of Colorado, checked the Daily Sentinel to see if her lottery numbers had won, she had no idea there had been a misprint. She saw that 5 of her numbers matched the 6 in the paper, so she called her son to find out if there was a prize for matching 5 numbers. Her son, Sheldon Revis, went online to the Colorado Lottery’s website and told her that the prize for 5 of 6 numbers was $498. Out of curiosity, he asked her to read out the numbers she had played, and when she read him the final number, he told her that all six matched, and that she had actually won the jackpot! They were both shocked.
Revis chose to take the lump sum payment of $2.1 million before taxes. She plans to continue working as a hotel manager and save the money for retirement. Although it was nearly a very costly mistake, Revis says she isn’t upset about it. The Daily Sentinel even called to apologize for the misprint.