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Just Because…

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.

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Flying lottery balls

A Hit After Almost Two Decades

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.

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Broke Single Dad Wins Tattslotto

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.”

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One Dream Led To Another

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.”

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EuroMillions Winner Plans to “Spend It”

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.

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Florida’s Biggest Jackpot of the Year

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.

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Lotto Win or Heart Attack?

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.

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Canadian Winner Donates It All to Charity

dollar different tenor soft moneys fall with skyDespite knowing about his $40 Million LottoMax jackpot win for six months, Tom Crist, 64, just recently came forward to collect his winnings. Crist, retired CEO of EECOL Electric, knew from the moment he got the call from the lottery commission telling him he won that he would give all $40 million of his win to charity, but he put it off so long because he was wary of the publicity.

Last week, Crist delivered his first check for $1.2 Million to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. The charity is dear to his heart because his wife, Jan, lost her six-year battle with lung cancer in February of 2012. Crist told the ACF that the check he delivered was only phase-one and that he plans to give annually.

Crist explained his generous decision to the press; “I guess I’ve been fortunate enough through my career, you know, that I had, with the company that I was with, to be fortunate enough to have a good living and be able to remain to have a good living and look after my kids. So, I don’t really need the money.”

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Georgia Woman Wins Half of Record Jackpot

cashwomanIra Curry was driving to work on Wednesday morning when she heard the winning numbers for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing and the location where the winning ticket was purchased. She remembered that her ticket was purchased at the same place and that she had selected her family’s lucky number seven as the Mega Ball, same as the winning ticket. Curry called her daughter and told her to check the ticket. All six numbers matched. Ira’s ticket was one of two jackpot winning tickets for that drawing. She won half of the $648 million jackpot which was the 2nd largest jackpot in U.S. history.

Curry, a Stone Mountain, GA resident, chose the cash option and will take home $173,819,742.50 before taxes. She claimed the prize the day after the drawing and hasn’t had any time to decide what she will do with the winnings.

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El Gordo Lottery Winners Revealed

mondragon-view-600On Sunday December 22nd, the choir sang the results of the Christmas Lottery, a time honored tradition in Spain. The Lottery is called “El Gordo,” which means the fat one in English and it is the largest lottery in Spain. The prizes awarded totaled over $3 Billion and there were thousands of winners.

As luck would have it, some of the biggest winners this year came from some of the hardest hit areas of Spain where the unemployment rate sits above 25 percent. The largest prize was shared by two towns, a working class suburb outside of Madrid and the Basque town of Mondragon. In Mondragon, the largest employer, an appliance manufacturer, recently laid off more than 2,000 of its employees.

The 200 year old lottery instituted one big change this year, for the first time in its history, prizes of more than $3,425 will be taxed at a rate of 20%. The Treasury expects to collect tens of millions of dollars in taxes.

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SC Woman Shocked by Win

iStock_000003572423_ExtraSmallA South Carolina man, who chose to remain anonymous, won $1,000,000.00 in a recent Mega Millions draw by matching five of six numbers. He knew his wife would be shocked by the news and decided to wait until she got home from work to tell her that they won. Luckily he did because when she saw the ticket she fainted from the excitement.

The lucky couple bought the winning ticket at the North Myrtle Beach Bi-Lo Grocery Store.

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Mom Wins £10K in Time for Christmas

iStock_000021849066XSmallAmanda Pain, mother of four, won £10,000 from the People’s Postcode Lottery just days before Christmas. Her postcode, CM9 5FP, was revealed as the week’s Saturday Street Prize winner. Pain, a 30 year old single mom, had just dropped her four daughters off at school when she got the news from the Lottery.

Pain plans to use the winnings to pay off some debts and treat the kids to extra Christmas presents. She hasn’t told them about the win so they will be surprised on Christmas morning. She also plans to let them pick a holiday destination for next year and expects it will be Disneyland.

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Pay Off Your Mortgage Winner Highlight

RosenfieldAnitaPOYM_8-21-13Our most recent Pay Off Your Mortgage Game winner is set to receive the first installment of her $100,000.00 prize this month. Anita Rosenfield, PhD. Of Sedona, Arizona has been a long time member of FreeLotto, initially registering in 2005.

Before finding out about her jackpot win, 2013 had been a tough year for Anita. She has been battling kidney failure and has been placed on a transplant list at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to her own health issues, Anita’s beloved pet dog Morebucks passed away this summer.

Anita had won dozens of small prizes over the years, and though she always hoped she would win a jackpot prize, she never really believed it would happen. “It does make me feel like someone is watching over me,” Anita said when she found out about her big win.

Anita plans to use the prize money to travel to other transplant hospitals for evaluations, including the University of Minnesota Hospital and the University of Colorado Hospital, both of which do more transplants each year than Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. By getting on more hospital’s transplant lists she hopes she will get a new kidney sooner and hopefully avoid dialysis.

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The Search for £3 Million Winner

searchThe National Lottery’s largest unclaimed prize of just over £3 million is still waiting for the owner of the ticket to reveal himself or herself. The winning ticket was bought in the Sevenoaks district of Kent, UK.

The owner of the matching 6 lotto numbers, 8,10,27,34,40,41, has until August 8, 2013 to claim their prize. If no one comes forward to claim the prize before then, the prize money plus all of the interest generated will go to the National Lottery good causes which support charities for health, education, arts, sports, heritage and community.

“We’re desperate to find this mystery ticket-holder and unite them with their winnings. This amazing jackpot prize could really make a huge difference to somebody’s life,” said a spokesman of National Lottery. “We’re urging everyone who bought a ticket in this area to check their old tickets again or look anywhere a missing ticket could be hiding.”


Biggest LottoMax Jackpot in Calgary History

CalgaryDarrel Szczerba was heading to the tattoo parlor when he stopped by at the Petro-Canada station in Calgary, Canada.

“I was waiting to get a tattoo and had about half an hour to kill so I went to get a cold drink and I thought well I’ll check my tickets. I didn’t get the cold drink,” Darrel told CTV Calgary.

Darrell cancelled his tattoo appointment and ran home to share the incredible news with his wife, Laurie.

The winning ticket was a quick-pick worth $30 million, the largest LottoMax jackpot in Calgary history.

Darrel was a carpenter foreman and his wife, Laurie, was a legal assistant but since the big win both have retired. They are planning to take a vacation, purchase a new home, and buy a new vehicle.