Rutherford County, North Carolina has been quite lucky in recent years with three of its residents becoming millionaires from playing scratch tickets. Rodger Keith Melton, of Spindale, won $2.6 million in 2013. Dan Royal, of Forest City, won $5.2 million in 2013 and most recently a friend of Dan’s Henry Smith, of Rutherfordton, won $4 million in December.
Henry told lottery officials that his win was all because of his friend Dan. “I never would have tried a $20 ticket if it wasn’t for Dan. He came over the day I won, looked at my ticket, and said ‘Yup. Welcome to the millionaires’ club.’”
Smith plans to use the prize money to take a nice vacation, pay off his mortgage and some other bills.
Most people tell their spouse right away when they win the lottery, but not Mike Fiske. Mike, 57, of Norfolk, U.K. entered the EuroMillions Lucky Dip online and could not believe it when he received an email saying he had won £1 Million. He thought it might be a hoax or a dream, so he didn’t tell anyone, including his wife of 28 years, until a week later after he had confirmed the win with Lottery officials. When he finally came clean to his wife, Jane, she was stunned.
Since confirming that his big win was not a joke, Mike has wasted no time. He’s decided to retire from the oil company he works for as a geophysicist and has already given notice. The lucky couple plan to use the prize money to build a new house, travel the world and enjoy retirement worry-free.
Eusebio Camacho, 78, regularly buys scratch off lottery tickets for his mother, Lily, who is 101 years old. Of the handful of tickets he bought that day, one in particular caught her eye. It was a $5 Money Tree scratch ticket. That lucky ticket turned out to be a top prize winner worth $50,000.
Lily was accompanied by five of her family members to collect her prize check and they were all very protective of the family matriarch. Eusebio told lottery officials that she will continue with her normal routine but it is sure to be a happy holiday for Lily, her 24 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren, 19 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great-grandchild.
The odds of winning the top prize in the $5 Money Tree game are 1 in 240,000.
Aaron Monsey of Sterling, Virginia recently claimed a $1 Million Powerball Lottery win just four days before it was set to expire. But this isn’t a story of a winner who forgot to check his numbers.
The winning ticket was purchased approximately six months ago at an Exxon gas station in Monsey’s hometown. Monsey checked his ticket the day after the drawing and saw that he had matched the first five numbers, making his Easy Pick ticket worth $1 Million. When Lottery Officials asked him why he had waited so long to come forward, Monsey replied, “just because…” and remained silent on the subject for the rest of the interview.
Monsey isn’t the only winner. The store who sold the lucky ticket will receive a check from the Virginia Lottery for $10,000.
For almost two decades, Anthony Barry had been playing the same set of numbers in every Lotto 6/49 draw. Despite never winning more than a free ticket, he persisted. On December 10, 2014, his luck finally turned and his lucky numbers hit. When he heard just days later that someone from St. John’s area had won he checked the winning numbers and instantly recognized them. Barry won a $7 Million jackpot from the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.
Barry has no specific plans yet for how he will spend the prize money but says he will continue to play his lucky numbers in the lottery.
A Melbourne, Australia father of two had only eight cents in the bank before winning a share of the $21 Million Superdraw in November. His share ended up being $1.5 Million. Despite his visit to a psychic this year who told him that his money problems would be ending soon, the winner couldn’t believe his luck and checked the ticket ten times before it sunk in that he had become a millionaire.
This lucky winner has been playing for more than 40 years and has always dreamt of winning such a large sum. He plans to use the money to set up his family and make investments for his children’s future.
The ticket was sold at Target Lotto in Harper’s Crossing and was the fourth winning ticket sold there this year. People are driving out of their way to purchase tickets at the “lucky outlet.”
Edwina Silvera of West Haverstraw, New York had a dream on the night of October 14th that led to her purchase of a “$2,500 A Week for Life” ticket. The lucky ticket was a top prize winner of $2.5 million.
Silvera told lottery official she wanted to keep the details of the dream private but that it was a message from her late father. When she went to buy a ticket, she passed on her usual $2 ticket she picks up every six months or so and splurged on the $5 “$2,500 A Week for Life” ticket. She didn’t discover the win until the following evening when she scratched the ticket.
Silvera will get $130,000 a year — or $86,034 after withholdings — for the rest of her life. She says she has no plans to retire from her hospital administration job but is looking forward to living with less financial stress. When she receives her first payout, she intends to hire a contractor to finish her basement, a project she’s been hoping to finish for a long time.
Choosing between the lump sum payment and yearly payment was an easy decision for 49-year-old Silvera who said, “I’m young and I’m going to live for a very long time.”
Mary Hamilton, 65, of Northern Ireland has been playing the lottery since it started 20 years ago and while she had always hoped she would win a little something, she never imagined she would win a £12.9 Million jackpot.
Mary usually purchases new lottery tickets every week and at the same time get the tickets from the prior week checked. The clerk told her that he couldn’t pay over the counter and that she would have to call the number on the back of the ticket. Instantly the busy store was abuzz and someone else on line checked the numbers on his phone and discovered that her numbers had won the jackpot. Mary was so weak with all the excitement that she couldn’t drive herself home. Someone helped her call her husband, Alexander who came and picked her up.
The lucky couple is thrilled with their big win and when asked what they would do with the winnings, the short answer was “spend it.” Both Mary and Alexander previously worked together at a furniture store but have quit since their win. They are looking forward to this exciting new chapter in their lives and spending money on their family and friends. Mary says she plans to do her bit to boost the local economy.
Carolyn Bell, 64, recently claimed a $48 Million jackpot from the Florida Lottery. The jackpot was the biggest for the Florida Lottery in 2014. Bell is not a Florida resident but plays the Florida Lottery whenever she visits from her home state of Alabama. Luckily for Bell there are no rules stating that non-residents are ineligible to play and win. She has opted to receive her winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $32,609,501.60.
Bell and her husband have decided to retire now that they are free of financial worries. They say they don’t plan on changing their lifestyle too much but they will enjoy their free time and worry less.
The winning ticket was purchased at Stateline Liquors. The store will receive a $210,000 commission from the lottery for selling the winning ticket.
A lottery winner from Seneca, South Carolina thought he was having a heart attack when he discovered his big win. The winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told customers in the Exxon gas station that he felt sweaty and weak in the knees after revealing the $200,000 prize on his “Bring on the Bens” scratch ticket.
The luck winner and his wife travelled to Columbia, SC lottery headquarters to claim the prize on the 21st of November. They told lottery officials that they plan to use to money to pay off some bills and hopefully retire a bit earlier than they would have before.
Four top prizes remain in the “Bring on the Bens” game and tickets are $10 each. The odds of winning the $200,000 prize are 1 in 600,000.