László Andraschek, 55, spent seven years bouncing in and out of a homeless shelter. Due to strict rules about alcohol use, and his inability to stay sober, he would periodically end up living on the street. Andraschek, the youngest of his large family, had lived at home until the age of 31, but got kicked out because he was spending all of his money on alcohol. That same year, he attempted suicide, but thankfully the rope he used snapped. It was almost ten years later when Andraschek got sober for good.
Andraschek was on the way to a support meeting for alcoholics when he purchased the lucky ticket with his last few coins. He never expected he would win 636m Hungarian forint (approximately $2.7 million US dollars). In fact, he had only selected 6 of the 7 numbers on the ticket and when the cashier asked him what he wanted for the last number he said, “make it 24 – it doesn’t matter, anyway.”
After taking care of his immediate family, Andraschek made a large donation to a hostel for the homeless. In addition to caring for the homeless, he also plans to set up a foundation for addicts and abused women. His philanthropy couldn’t have come at a better time; late last year Hungarian government passed a law to get the homeless off of the streets by fining them, or in some cases even imprisonment.
Seamus Harmon, of Salem, Oregon, recently won the Oregon Lottery Win for Life Game. The 34-year-old safety trainer declared himself “one of the most boring lottery winners” because he intends to keep his job and use his winnings to pay off his mortgage. Some would say he’s one of the smartest lottery winners.
The payouts will be $1000 every week for the rest of his life, or approximately $666 per week after taxes. Harmon says he is extremely grateful to have won.
Arizona Lottery Officials received a visit from Alvin Yazzie of Chandler, Arizona after he discovered he had won a $1 Million prize. Yazzie matched all five of the regular numbers, only missing the Powerball.
At first, he didn’t think he had won anything because he heard the jackpot winning ticket worth $425 million was sold in California. When he checked his tickets, he was pleasantly surprised.
Yazzie recently celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife and plans to use some of the prize money to take her on a trip to Hawaii.
Living near the Georgia/Tennessee border has its perks. Timothy Byrd, a native Tennessean and avid lottery fan, often buys scratchers from both the Georgia Lottery and the Tennessee Lottery. A few weeks ago, he happened to be on the Georgia side of the border when he decided to purchase a Millionaire Jumbo Bucks scratch off ticket. Byrd didn’t have his reading glasses with him and was unable to see that he had won $250,000. It wasn’t until he asked the clerk to check the ticket for him that he realized he had won a big prize.
Byrd plans to use his winnings to pay off his bills and buy a new truck.
The February 19th Powerball drawing for $425 Million had one jackpot winning ticket. That ticket was sold at Dixon Landing Chevron in Milpitas, California, a small town in the bay area. The lucky winner has yet to come forward to claim his or her prize – the 6th largest in U.S. history.
The gas station will receive a $1 million bonus for selling the winning ticket as well as a lot of new business from lotto players who want to buy from their lucky store. The owners, Kulwinder and Parmeet Singh, are hoping the winner is one of their regulars but say they will be happy for whoever it is.
The winning numbers were 17, 49, 54, 35, 1. The Powerball number was 34.
Dean Banman, of Calgary, Canada, won $1,000,000 in the January 17th Lotto Max drawing. When he checked his ticket at the lottery scanner, he couldn’t believe it. He ran it again to double check but still wasn’t convinced. Then he had the cashier scan it.
When Banman finally believed the results, the first call he made was to his dad who he told to start looking for a house.
In addition to purchasing a home for his parents, Banman plans to purchase a new home for himself and a new car.
Weeks after the Mega Millions drawing on December 17th, the winner of the second half of the $684 Million jackpot prize has finally come forward to claim his prize. The winner, Steve Tran, explained to lottery officials that he had bought the ticket during his runs as a delivery driver. He had put the winning ticket, along with many others bought from other towns, in a stack, and stored it away in his drawer at home and had forgotten about them.
One night at around 3 am, Tran awoke from a deep sleep remembering that he had purchased a ticket in a gift shop in San Jose and wondered if he was the winner. He got out of bed, found the stack of tickets and began checking them.
Tran told the exciting news to his wife and a few other family members before calling his boss. “I’m really sorry, boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow or ever,” he said in the message he left.
Doreen Hay, of Teesside, U.K., won a £7.5million Lotto jackpot. After sharing the good news with her son, John Jr., with whom she’s splitting the prize, her next thought was to call her ex-husband. Doreen and John Hay have been divorced for 27 years but have remained close friends, getting together for lunch once a week. Both admit that they get along better now than they did during the 12 years they were married.
Doreen called John Sr. not only to share the good news, but also the prize. Doreen offered to give him half a million and his son, John Jr., is planning to give him another half million. John Sr., who earns £20,000 a year as a milkman had thought about retiring but didn’t think he’d be able to for quite a while. Now, with the help from Doreen and their son, he’ll be able to retire much sooner.
Doreen’s generosity doesn’t end with her ex-husband. She’s giving away a total of £1.5 million to her siblings, grandchildren and charities, including Help for Heroes, WaterAid, Save The Children, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, as well as a local hospice.
While doing his job as a landscaper, Marvin Rosales Martinez, found an unscratched, unsigned Win $1,000 a Week for Life ticket in a pile of leaves he was bagging. The ticket turned out to be worth $1 Million. Because lottery tickets are bearer instruments, they can be claimed by anyone who signs the back of the ticket regardless of whether or not they purchased it. The Lottery’s protocol in cases like this one is to wait one year to see if anyone else makes a claim for the ticket.
Luckily for Martinez, that year is now up and no one had disputed the claim. He was finally able to collect his prize – a lump sum of $515,612 after taxes.
With a year to think about how he will spend the money, Martinez knows exactly what he’s going to do. He plans to send some of the prize to his family in El Salvador, pay for repairs on his mother’s home that was damaged in Hurricane Sandy, and take a honeymoon with his new wife.
Two Scottish winners of £1 million each have missed out on collecting their jackpots. The winning tickets were from the June 26th, 2013 drawing and were not claimed within the 180 days Euromillions allows.
One of the winning tickets was bought in Fife and the other in East Dunbartonshire. “We tried very hard to find the ticket-holders and it’s a real shame that they have missed out,” the Lottery spokesman told the press.
Unclaimed Euromillions Prizes are turned over to the U.K. National Lottery Good Causes, which provides funding for charitable projects all over the U.K. including the arts, sports, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.