First Class to Thailand

long boat and poda island in ThailandBrian McTigue, a retired school caretaker from West Derby, England, was checking his weekly lottery tickets when he was distracted by the doorbell. He had only checked one of his three tickets, a £25 winner. McTigue answered the door and chatted with a builder who had come by to give him a quote on some work he was planning on his home. Forgetting about his lottery tickets, McTigue went to the kitchen to make dinner after his meeting. It wasn’t until after eating his dinner that he got back to checking his tickets. One of his remaining tickets was a big winner worth £2,850,984.

McTigue plans to use the money to pay for the extension he had been planning on his home. He also plans to celebrate by taking a first class vacation to Thailand.

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New Lease on Life

dollar different tenor soft moneys fall with skyFive months ago, Belinda Garner, was told she had six months left to live. The West Tennessee native has lived a hard life, overcoming homelessness and drug addiction. Though she was able to change her life, some of the damage from drug abuse was permanent and Garner developed cirrhosis of the liver.

Garner never lost hope despite the diagnosis. In November, she purchased a $25 scratch off ticket and won a jackpot prize of $5 million. “I thought maybe one day…You know you always wish,” said Belinda Garner of her win.

Garner’s family hopes that this prize money, $2.6 million after taxes, will help her get a liver transplant that could extend her life.

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Nostalgia Prompts Winning Ticket Purchase

Black pearlJoanne Zarella-Densman was looking over the scratch ticket display at her local convenience store in Brockton, Massachusetts when she spotted a $5 ticket called Black Pearls. The ticket reminded her of a family vacation she took as a child. On that trip, her father had given Joanne and each of her siblings an oyster. Joanne’s was the only one that contained a black pearl.

The memory prompted her to buy the ticket and lucky for her it was worth $1 million. Joanne elected to take a one time lump sum payment of $430,000 after taxes.

Joanne was the ninth jackpot prize winner of the Black Pearl game and one jackpot prize remains to be won.

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Yukon Lotto Pool Wins Lotto Max

iStock_000005875066_ExtraSmallA group of eight co-workers from the Faro Mine Remediation Project won half of a $50 million jackpot in November. The group includes Glenda Benoit, Jovita Murphy, Shelley Shaw, Krista Pickett, Ron Meers, Craig McKinnon, Tracey Parkin and Sukie Sidhu. Each will receive a share of approximately $3.12 million. The Faro group’s win is the largest lottery prize ever won on a ticket purchased in Yukon.

Some of the group plans to keep their jobs but Craig McKinnon plans to retire. “I want to golf ‘til I die,” he told the Western Canada Lottery Corporation.

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Community Recreation Center Funded by Lottery Winner

HiResThe W. Randy Smith Recreation Center, a brand new $2.1 million recreation center, bears the name of the lottery winner who provided the majority of the funding for the project. Smith won a $79 million Powerball jackpot in 2010. After taxes, the cash option netted him about $30 million.

The facility is located on the Musselman High School campus in Inwood, West Virginia. The land for the project was donated by the county school board. The indoor community center will serve one of the state’s largest high schools and contains two full size basketball courts. Smith, a former County Sherriff and magistrate, said “it’s a first-class facility” and something he is proud of.

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