New Lease on Life
Five 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.
Nostalgia Prompts Winning Ticket Purchase
Joanne 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.
Yukon Lotto Pool Wins Lotto Max
A 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.
Community Recreation Center Funded by Lottery Winner
The 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.
Unbelievable Surprise for New Zealand Man
An unexpected knock at the door turned out to be incredible news for one New Zealand man. Lottery officials had taken matters into their own hands using security footage to identify the winner of a $22.6 million prize after it had gone unclaimed for more than three weeks.
Even after hearing that he was likely the winner, the officials had to convince him that it was not a hoax and that he should show them the winning ticket so they could verify it. The lucky winner was completely taken off guard and couldn’t grasp that he had actually won. Though he regularly plays the lottery and has won small prizes in the past, he just didn’t believe he would ever win a prize that big.
The winner, who is married with children, has vowed that the large sum of money won’t change him too much. He would like to take a family vacation and build his dream house somewhere in Christchurch, near where he lives now.
Doughnut Baker Wins £2 Million
Jean Swatman, 62, recently won a £2 Million lottery jackpot. Her family was thrilled about the win and decided to do their grandmother a favor by throwing away her work shoes. Little did they know, Swatman plans to keep her job in the supermarket bakery where she makes doughnuts four days a week starting at 5:30 am. She says she enjoys working and that the early hours don’t bother her at all.
Since claiming her prize money, Swatman has paid off the mortgage on her home in Suffolk, England, taken a trip to Cambodia, purchased a new car, and remodeled the kitchen. She plans to invest the rest for her five grandchildren.
Well-Known Lawyer Wins Lotto 649
Saskatoon lawyer, Donald Worme, most famous for representing the Stonechild family in the Neil Stonechild inquiry in 2003, recently won $15 million on Lotto 649. Worme had initially tried to purchase a Lotto Max ticket but had missed the deadline. The clerk suggested he buy a Lotto 649 ticket instead.
Worme took more than six weeks to come forward with the winning ticket and doesn’t know yet what he will do with the money. He told lottery officials, “I’ve purchased things that I desired so I have the items I wanted.” He also said that he doesn’t think retirement is for him, so he will continue his law practice.
$1,000,000.00 Scratch Prize
Shelia Davis, 53, was driving home with her husband and their three children in the car when she felt like buying a scratch off ticket. The family stopped at a convenience store in Newnan, Georgia and Sheila picked up a $1,000,000.00 Gold Rush Georgia Lottery ticket.
When she scratched the ticket and saw that she had won the top prize Sheila started crying and her husband did too. Sheila, who works for the non-profit Habitat for Humanity, said this jackpot win will allow her to take care of her family. They are going to celebrate by “doing something they’ve never done before.”
North Carolina Winner Thanks Mother-In-Law
North Carolina resident, Tommy Belcher, had a stack of old lottery tickets that had been sitting in the visor of his truck for months. They probably would have gone unchecked had his mother-in-law not mentioned that she heard lottery officials were looking for a big winner in Charlotte. A store clerk verified that one of the tickets in Belcher’s stack was indeed a winner. The winning Cash 5 ticket was from a drawing back in May and was worth $257,000. Luckily for Belcher, he claimed in time, only a few weeks remained before the lucky ticket was set to expire.
As a thank you gift to his mother-in-law, Belcher plans to buy her a new refrigerator.
Spanish City In Search of Millionaire
On June 30, 2012, someone in the city of La Coruna, Spain purchased a winning lottery ticket worth 4.7 million euros ($6.3 million). Unfortunately for them, they left the ticket behind when they left the store. Another honest customer found the ticket and gave it back to the store manager. After discovering what it was worth the store manager alerted lottery officials who have made the search public. They are hoping the owner of the winning ticket will come forward and be able to remember where and when they purchased the ticket so that they can be verified as the true owner of the ticket. Everyone who has heard the story, including the mayor, Carlos Negreira, is helping spread the word.
According to an 1889 Spanish Statute, the city is actually required to make every effort to locate the owner of the winning ticket and will continue the search for two years.
“Favorite Customer” Tips Big
Max Coronado, a retired senior, is a regular at Howards Mini Mart in Bakersfield, California where he purchases $80 in lottery tickets three times a week. Every time he buys his tickets he jokes with the owner, Sue Park, that if he wins they will go to Korea together and open a Taco Bell.
Coronado’s big win finally came when he matched 5 of 6 numbers in the Mega Millions lottery this past month. Store owner, Park, actually knew of Coronado’s big win before he did. A Mega Millions representative came by the store to alert the store owners of the win and check the security footage. Park was thrilled to tell her favorite customer, Coronado, the incredible news.
When asked about his big win, Coronado said he was “very surprised.” Coronado plans to give $10,000 to Park so that she can take vacation with her family to her homeland of Korea. Park believes he will come through because he has been a generous tipper in the past. One time, he won $100 and gave a $10 tip to Park’s daughter who had sold him the ticket. Whether he pays for her trip or not, Park says she’s very happy for him.
Horoscope Predicts U.K. Couple’s Lotto Win
Lynne and John Pittiglio go to the same store every Saturday and always buy four lines. The only thing different about this past Saturday was that their horoscope read that something was going to happen in their lives that would have a “big impact.” Sure enough, Lynn and John matched five numbers and the bonus ball winning them just over £180,000.
The lucky couple were about to sign paperwork to take out a mortgage on their home in order to do a remodel. Now, they will be able to remain mortgage free.
“The win has taken all financial pressures off and means we can now live more relaxed, happier lives,” Mrs. Pittiglio told the press. The happy family plans to take a trip to Portugal in the near future to celebrate.
$40,000 Was Actually $40,000,000
“I ran down the street like a crazy woman,” said Maria Carreiro, the $40 million winner of the LottoMax in Ontario, Canada.
Maria began her celebration thinking she had won $40,000. It wasn’t until her daughter looked up the ticket on the lottery website that they discovered the true worth of the ticket.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Carreiro told reporters. “I was shaking and just couldn’t believe that it was real.”
Maria, a Portuguese immigrant, had previously worked at a factory but quit to raise her 3 children. Her husband who struggled as the sole financial provider for his family can now relax. He’s now retired since receiving news of the big check that would be arriving.
The couple has big plans for the winnings including new houses and cars for themselves and their three children, a trip to her native Portugal, and a long-awaited honeymoon trip to Hawaii.
Million Dollar Winner Resides in Poorest City
Retired bus driver, Dennis J. Edwards Jr., thought he had hit the jackpot of a quarter-million dollars. However, to his surprise, he had paid an extra $1 for a feature that quadrupled his Mega Millions win to $1,000,000.00. He plans to use his winnings to go to Disney World and buy a new house.
Mr. Edwards, his eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren live in Central Falls, Rhode Island, the poorest city in the state. Central Falls is a city that hosts 19,000 residents within 1.3 square miles. The city has been through turmoil in the past few years, including municipal bankruptcy which resulted in tax increases, cut pensions, and layoffs of city employees. It wasn’t until last fall that they were discharged from bankruptcy. The city hopes for the millionaire to stay put and help out the small community in its effort to recover.
A Million Dollars Unclaimed in Kansas
The million dollar Kansas Powerball lottery ticket remains unclaimed.
The lucky winner bought the ticket on January 26th, 2013 in southwest Kansas. The winning numbers were 3, 22, 26, 41, 49 and the Powerball 18. The ticket matched all the numbers but the Powerball; thus winning $1 million dollars.
Kansas Lottery’s security policies do not permit them to disclose the name and address of the retailer that sold the winning ticket.
The person that owns the million dollar ticker will have until January 25th, 2014 to claim the prize. The prize can be claimed at the Kansas Lottery Headquarters in Topeka or the Kansas Lottery office in Great Bend.