Iowa Lottery officials were waiting a few weeks for the winner of the $241 million Powerball jackpot to come forward. The winning ticket with the numbers 7, 10, 14, 33, 57 and Powerball 18 belongs to a group of Quaker Oats factory workers. The pool is made up of 18 men and two women who all work in the shipping department of the factory. The reason they waited to come forward is because they are fighting to keep their last names out of the press. It is possible that the group could remain anonymous if the injunction they have filled with the court is deemed legal.
Iowa attorney general Tom Miller and Iowa Lottery CEO, Terry Rich, believe the winner’s names should be released to the public. “It is our position that they should be made public, and we’re giving them what we believed is rights under the Iowa Code to have the chance to go to court and cite something different.”
The $241 million prize is the largest Powerball jackpot ever won in the state’s history and the 15th largest Powerball jackpot ever.
The pool has chosen the lump-sum cash option worth $160.3 million before taxes, and each winner will receive roughly $5.6 million after taxes. At least 11 of the 20 have said they plan to retire as soon as they receive their share.
Frank Castillo is a seafood salesman in Surry County, North Carolina who recently matched all five balls in a Mega Millions drawing on July 20, 2012. Getting all five numbers correct would usually win someone $250,000, but because Castillo paid an extra dollar for the Megaplier option, his winnings were multiplied to $1,000,000.00.
Castillo verified his win at Jonestown Family Fare, the store where he had initially purchased the ticket in Winston-Salem. When the clerk told him how much he had won, Castillo nearly fainted. He hadn’t realized that his win would be multiplied four times. “I’m still pinching myself,” Castillo told the North Carolina Lottery Representative.
The cash payout ends up being approximately $680,000 after taxes. Castillo plans to use the money to pay off outstanding loans on his house and car. He also plans to start his own business and begin saving for his children’s college educations.
Harold Miller, 65, has been playing the same set of numbers since 2010, a compilation of his family’s birthdays. On Friday, April 13th, Miller matched 6 out of 6 and won a $10,000.00 cash jackpot on FreeLotto.com, an online lottery style sweepstakes.
Miller has been a long time daily player of the free game. For nearly a month after he won, he continued to play the game daily but did not bother checking the winning numbers from the previous day’s drawings. On May 9th, Miller sat down at his computer and remembered that it had been a while since he last checked the winning numbers, so he visited the FreeLotto results page. Lucky for Miller he did because he had less than a week left to claim his prize.
“Not in my wildest imagination did I believe that I would win,” Miller told the Prize Team, “I had to look at it twice!” Miller immediately picked up the phone to call his wife and together they shared the good news with their fourteen children, eight of whom are adopted. The whole family is very excited.
The Millers have incurred some debt moving their family from the Philippines and both have had to continue working part time at Nellis Air Force base since retiring. “A real relief,” is how Harold Miller described the win. It will enable him to pay off some debt and afford a second car for the family.
Joel Goulet, 59, from Wausau, Wisconsin often buys lottery tickets from the gas station when he fills up his truck. This last time, the ticket he bought was a big winner. Goulet matched five numbers in the Mega Millions drawing to win $250,000 but because he had selected the Megaplier option it was increased to $1 million.
Goulet had been laid off in April 2010 and had been trying to find work for the last 2 years, even applying at the gas station where he bought the winning ticket. He just recently got a job working on the production line at a local factory. Now, Goulet can enjoy life free of financial worries.
Goulet hadn’t gotten around to checking his ticket until he saw the newspaper headline that someone in his area had won the jackpot. “I was shaking so bad; it was lucky I didn’t tear the tickets in half,” Goulet said.
Lottery spokesperson, Andy Bohage said Goulet chose the lump sum payment option which totals $672,500. The gas station will receive $20,000 for selling the winning ticket.
Goulet has already paid off his home mortgage with the winnings and plans to buy a new truck. He also intends to invest in other property and save a portion of the winnings for his retirement.
Johan Wallen and his wife have a big month ahead with the delivery of their second child and first prize check.
Johan Wallen and his wife will receive two blessings in May. The first is the birth of their second child due May 11th. The second is a prize check from FreeLotto.com, an online lotto style sweepstakes where Wallen recently won a $100,000.00 jackpot prize. May looks to be a very exciting month for the Wallen family.
Johan Wallen, a car mechanic in his homeland of Sweden, discovered the sweepstakes website in October of 2008 while surfing the web. Wallen quickly decided to take advantage of an optional service offered on the website called the FreeLotto Automatic Subscription Ticket (F.A.S.T.) which automatically plays the numbers he selected in 6 drawings every day for a small monthly fee.
“I’m very lucky to be a winner. I’m not a rich man,” Wallen told the prize team at FreeLotto when they called to congratulate him on his big win. When he received the win notification in his email inbox, Wallen screamed with joy and immediately called his family, friends, and coworkers to share the incredible news. Many of his friends have joined the website since then in hopes of winning a prize themselves. Wallen plans to use the $100,000.00 prize winnings to buy a boat and support his expanding family.
Small Donations Add Up Big – Sweepstakes Winners Donate Over $13,000.00 Through FreeLotto Click2Give Program4
So far this year, $13,387.00 has been donated to charity by FreeLotto winners through the Click2GiveCharity program. The website, a lotto style sweepstakes, offers six free daily games where players have the chance to win money for free. Prizes awarded range from $1.00 to $10,000,000.00.
The Click2Give charity program was created in 2003, about four years after the cash sweepstakes was launched. The idea behind its genesis was that while a $1.00 or $5.00 check would have little impact on an individual’s life, together these small prizes could have a meaningful impact on the world. FreeLotto has partnered with 24 non-profit organizations including Amnesty International, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Child Welfare Fund International, Disabled American Veterans, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Meals On Wheels, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and The Smile Train.
The game play is similar in style to a lottery, where a player selects a set of numbers in hopes of matching the winning numbers in the drawing. If a player matches three of six numbers on the $1,000,000.00 Classic FreeLotto game, they win $1.00; four of six correct earns them $5.00. Upon a win, a user is notified by email and then must confirm with their transaction serial number (TSN) which they receive after each FreeBet. Upon confirming their win, the winners receive a second email with the option to donate the prize to charity or have the winnings sent to them by postal mail. If they decide to donate, they can click on the link provided and chose a charity of their choice.
While most of the donations come from the small prizes, jackpot winners are also given the opportunity to make a donation to the Click2Give participating charities. Just last December, Knud Møller, a $2,000,000.00 winner chose to donate $10,000.00 of his prize winnings to Child Welfare Fund International, an organization that works to strengthen non-governmental child welfare agencies and organizations in nearly fifty developing countries around the world and to assist child welfare leaders in their direct and indirect service to needy children and their families. Mary Ellen Rood, President of Child Welfare Fund International said it “was such a wonderful surprise that we re-read it a number of times, trying to comprehend the generosity of such a gift.”
Since the Click2Give program launched, FreeLotto players have donated a total of $1,149,357.18.
Bulgarian native Zhivko Zhelev joined FreeLotto.com on July 23, 2009. The website is the largest online lotto style sweepstakes, with over $11,000,000.00 in daily prizes available to be won. Zhelev is just one of FreeLotto’s many international winners, including Raja Khan from Lahore, Pakistan; Alejandro Llano from Mexico City, Mexico; William Herriott from Glasgow, Scotland; and Eric Prevost from Calvados, France.
While Zhelev had joined the site in July 2009, he began playing regularly, placing free “bets” on all six daily FreeLotto games, in October 2010. Games include the $1 Million Cash Classic, Win a Car, Pay Off Your Mortgage, $10,000 FastCash, $100,000 GiveAway, and SuperBucks, the $10 million jackpot game. On November 23, 2010, Zhelev matched all six numbers in the FreeLotto Pay Off Your Mortgage drawing, winning $100,000 to be paid out in 5 yearly installments of $20,000 each.
Zhelev used his first prize check to remodel his home in Bulgaria. He performed much of the labor himself, installing balusters to the front of his house. Zhelev received his 2nd prize check on the 5th of this month. The average annual salary in Bulgaria is $5,500, so this win can have a dramatic impact on Zhelev’s life and his ability to give back to his community. He told the prize team at FreeLotto that he plans to use this installment to support his son’s education at Veliko Turnovo University and to “buy clothes and food for street children in Bulgaria.” Orphaned, homeless and often exploited, “street children” are in need of great support. A representative of FreeLotto said that, “FreeLotto is proud that this winner plans to help others with his good fortune.” Zhelev says the money will also provide him the freedom to pursue his personal dream of becoming a published author of books and poetry.
Zhelev continues to be a loyal FreeLotto player and hopes to win more jackpots in the future.
Candace Penner, a 44-year-old single mother, joined FreeLotto.com on January 16, 2008. FreeLotto is an online lottery-style sweepstakes where users can play for free for the chance to win over $11,000,000.00 in daily cash prizes. Only a few months after registering, she hit the jackpot on May 19, 2008 by matching all six winning numbers in the $100,000.00 Giveaway game. The prize payments for that game are paid in 5 annual installments of $20,000.00 each. Penner is scheduled to receive her 4th installment this month.
Since Penner was laid off from her job in July of 2008 these prize winnings have been her primary source of income, literally keeping a roof over her and her son’s head. She has been careful with the prize money, paying her rent and other expenses up front for a full year after cashing each installment and then dividing the remainder to keep her going each month. Penner is no longer able to work due to a number of medical conditions and is in the process of trying to secure Social Security and Disability Benefits, so that she will have some income when her prize payments run out.
When Penner received her 3rd prize payment in 2011, she emailed the FreeLotto Prize Department to say that, “words cannot express my deepest feelings of gratitude I have for you and your company. I really didn’t know what else to do, or where to go if it wasn’t for you. FreeLotto gave me a 5 year income when I was looking at homelessness. I will never forget this.”
A representative of FreeLotto’s Prize Department said that “the awards to people like Candace are the best part of my job. I feel so lucky that we have the opportunity to award money to people and sometimes that can be life-changing. FreeLotto is proud of the ways in which we have helped our winners have a better life.”
Penner still plays FreeLotto.com nearly every day and hopes to pick the winning numbers on another jackpot in the future. Since her big win in 2008, she has won twenty-four small prizes.
Born in Kazakhstan, Radifa Ivanenko won her first lottery back in 1999 when she secured a green card in the Green Card Lottery and was able to move to the United States. Twelve years later, Ivanenko has another big win to celebrate – this time winning a grand total of $2,000,000.00 playing an online lottery-style sweepstakes at FreeLotto.com®, a website that offers players six daily games with a chance to win over $11,000,000.00 for free. Ivanenko became a FreeLotto member on June 15, 2011 and loved playing the game. Unfortunately, her job as a long haul truck driver, delivering goods from coast to coast, can keep her away from home for up to a month at a time without an internet connection – preventing her from playing as often as she’d like.
FreeLotto Automatic Subscription Ticket (F.A.S.T.), a subscription service offered by FreeLotto.com that automatically plays a user’s lucky numbers for all six games every day, was the solution to her problem. Ivanenko signed up for F.A.S.T. by selecting random numbers she wanted to be played for her every day and paid a modest monthly service fee ($14.99 for 30 days, less than 9 cents a game). At the same time, she was offered FreeLotto’s Prize Doubler service which automatically doubles any prizes won. Ivanenko paid for both services and three months later won $1,000,000.00 x 2 for a total of $2,000,000.00.
When she discovered her big win, Ivanenko immediately called her two daughters to share the news but they didn’t believe it. Ivanenko wasn’t so sure herself and it wasn’t until FreeLotto arranged to fly her to New York City for the check presentation and met her at the airport with a big check that the whole thing became real.
Ivanenko takes over as FreeLotto’s latest millionaire, succeeding Edward Cohen of Wallingford, Connecticut who won $1,000,000.00 on June 22, 2011. Ivanenko becomes FreeLotto’s 22nd winner of $1,000,000.00 or more, joining the roster of FreeLotto® millionaires around the world that includes Raja Khan from Lahore, Pakistan; Alejandro Llano from Mexico City, Mexico; William Herriott from Glasgow, Scotland; and Eric Prevost from Calvados, France. This jackpot brings the total awarded in FreeLotto’s sweepstakes to over $93 million. When asked how she plans to use the winnings, Ivanenko said she will buy herself a house and a car as well as help her two daughters and four grandchildren. She also said she doesn’t plan to retire just yet and will continue working while her health allows.
On June 22nd, 2011, Edward Cohen, a 57 year old electronics technician from Wallingford, CT won one million dollars playing FreeLotto. “My feet haven’t touched the ground since I read the results email,” he told the Prize Team. Cohen never thought of himself as a lucky guy until he hit the FreeLotto Classic Jackpot and was in utter disbelief when he received the win notification. He read it over and over again to be sure and then called his wife over to the computer to double check.
Many of Cohen’s friends and even his wife doubted he would ever win a big prize so his pay day is even sweeter. Cohen plans to use the prize money to pay off his loans and credit card bills. After the bills are taken care of, Cohen hopes to take his wife of 30 years on a romantic vacation to the Bahamas.
To date, FreeLotto has given away over $91,000,000.00 and we’re not done yet! You could be next, but you have to be in it to win it. Click here to play now or if you’d like to make sure your lucky numbers are played every day for your chance to win over $11,000,000.00, consider using our F.A.S.T. service-Click here to see F.A.S.T. Benefits and Pricing.