Smooth Sailing

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blog5Wayne and Desireé Home have had their share of rough seas. In 2008, Desireé Home was diagnosed with cancer. The couple had to make a few changes in their lifestyle including downsizing their house. She is now cancer free and can make plans for the future.

The East Farleigh couple’s plans can now be more grand since the Homes won £1 million with a Euromillions raffle ticket. They typically purchase a ticket every week but this is the first time they’ve won an amount this large.

Wayne and Desireé Home plan on upgrading their boat from an Ebay special to an ocean-going vessel. The other thing on their to-do list? Relax. With everything the couple has been through with Desireé’s cancer, it will be a well-deserved treat.

Million Dollar Popsicles

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blog4Who would have guessed purchasing your favorite summertime treat would lead to winning millions? The Fontana, California resident, John “Jack” Long did just that. He visited his favorite corner store to purchase his favorite sugar-free popsicles and decided on a whim to purchase a Powerball ticket, a Mega Millions ticket and a SuperLotto Plus ticket.

Despite being told the winner of the Powerball drawing purchased their ticket from the same corner store Long frequented, it wasn’t until a second neighbor informed him that someone matching his description had won the Powerball drawing that he decided to check his ticket.

It turns out Long is the biggest Powerball winner from San Bernardino County ever. He plans on using his $35.9 million winnings to purchase new cars for his daughters and maybe a new power wheelchair for himself. He also plans on starting a foundation to help low-income students.

Paying It Forward

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blog3Most people think of their own immediate needs and desires when they win the lottery. Margaret Loughrey isn’t most people. This Northern Ireland resident was unemployed living off just €70 a week when she purchased a “lucky dip” Euromillions ticket. She ended up winning €34 million.

After her big win, she immediately wanted to give back to the community around her. She has purchased the Herdman’s Mill in Sion Mills and plans on turning it into a tourist destination. Loughrey has other plans in the works to help rejuvenate the community that has helped her stay afloat during this difficult time of her life.

To date, Loughrey has given away €17 million and wants to continue helping others. She plans on keeping a minimum of €1 million for herself and using the remainder of her winnings to make other’s lives better.

Change of Luck

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blog2Things haven’t always come easy for Jeff LaBar. LaBar started out in the Navy and after his stint in the military became addicted to drugs, which ultimately landed him in jail. After being released from jail, all he had left was his family. Just as LaBar was turning his life around, he started working as a lineman for an electric company and was injured on the job. He was eventually let go from the position despite having made a full recovery.

Soon after, LeBar began to raise chickens. Unfortunately the farm didn’t provide enough income to cover his mortgage payments so he faced foreclosure on his house. To make ends meet, the fifty-three year old LaBar took another job at a Lime plant. LaBar’s wife also works on the farm and has a side business re-upholstering truck benches, car seats or anything else that customers bring to her.

All of his unfortunate luck changed however in May, after LaBar purchased a winning Lotto 47 ticket and won the $3.3 million jackpot!

The LaBars aren’t planning any large purchases or life-changing moves. They did however purchase a golf cart to make farm chores easier and took a trip to visit family in Florida. When asked, Jeff LaBar doesn’t immediately plan on quitting the second job, but wants to save as much as possible for retirement.

Largest Lotto Prize In Colorado History

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blog1Claude G. or as most people call him, Al, won the $90 million Powerball jackpot on August 9, 2014. This Rifle, Colorado gentleman is taking home the largest prize awarded in Colorado to date. He used the Quick Pick option to purchase the winning ticket and is still trying to decide how to spend the winnings.

Al works as a tow truck driver and doesn’t have any immediate plans on leaving his job. His wife, Jackie, has decided to leave her job and enjoy some rest and relaxation. The couple may travel more now that they are millionaires. Al confesses to having a few more “friends” in his home-town of 53 years.

Al and his family aren’t the only winners from this Powerball jackpot. The operators of the convenience store, Kum and Go, will receive a $50,000 commission for selling the winning ticket.

A Winning Dream

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dreamer1Some players get their numbers from fortune cookies, others get them from family birthdays and anniversaries, Mary Wollens winning numbers came to her in a prophetic dream that included a lottery ticket and a large check. When the octogenarian from Toronto, Canada, woke up one morning with six numbers in her head, she decided to buy a lottery ticket.

She was so certain she would win that the following day she purchased another ticket for the same drawing with the exact same numbers. Sure enough, each one of her numbers came up. One other person guessed all six numbers but because Wollens had the gut instinct to buy two tickets, she got to take home $16 million, two-thirds of the $24 million jackpot.

Lottery Deception

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judge1Arnim Ramdass was a member of a $10.2 million lottery pool with 17 of his airline mechanic coworkers. Ramdass decided not to tell his wife, Donna Campbell, about the win but began exhibiting some strange behavior that made Campbell suspicious. Only after searching his name on Google did she discover that he had won the lottery. When she confronted him about his $600,000 cut, Ramdass made some excuses and then disappeared.

Campbell sued him for half the money but he was on the run and process servers had a hard time locating him. When they eventually appeared in court, the Miami, FL judge determined that Campbell was not entitled to his winnings. The home they once shared has been foreclosed. Campbell was evicted and is now homeless. Her lawyers are modifying their lawsuit to prove that the money for the ticket came out of his work salary which would entitle her to half in the divorce.

Lucky Mistake

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wallet1One man’s forgetfulness turned into a blessing. Derek Ladner, of the United Kingdom, bought a ticket, forgot about it, and then purchased a second ticket with the same numbers for the July 11, 2007 National Lottery drawing. Derek and his wife Dawn were thrilled when their numbers came up and they claimed their share of the prize that was split between five winners. It wasn’t until a week later, when Mr. Ladner was purchasing another ticket that he found the second winning ticket in his wallet and remembered what had happened. The second ticket entitled him to another share of the jackpot doubling his winnings to £958,284, instead of his original share of £479,142, had he only bought one ticket.

The Ladners plan to retire, take a nice holiday, and enjoy more time on their hobbies. They also intend to keep playing their lucky numbers. According to BBC News, Ladner said, “they say lightning never strikes twice but it did, so perhaps it’ll strike three times.”

Don’t Forget To Check Your Numbers

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DrawerEveryone 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.

(Un)lucky? Depends On How You Look At It

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1mmcheckFrano Selak of Croatia has cheated death more than just about anyone. In 1962, Selak was a passenger on a train that derailed and plummeted into a frozen river killing 17 other passengers. Less than a year later, Selak took his first and only flight. An accident occurred and the cockpit door flew off, sucking him and 19 others out of the plane. The other passengers died but Selak landed in a haystack and walked away with minor injuries.

Four years after the plane incident, Selak was on a bus that crashed and killed four people. He walked away unharmed. He managed to escape two burning cars in 1970 and 1973. In 1995, he was hit by a city bus and again walked away with minor injuries.

His last, but certainly not least survival story happened in 1996 when he drove off a cliff to avoid an oncoming truck. He managed to jump out of the car, land in a tree, and watched his car fall 300 feet. With seven amazing survival stories you would think his life couldn’t get more interesting, but then in 2003, Selak, at the age of 74, hit the Croatian Lottery Jackpot and won $1,000,000. It was the first time he had ever played.