New York Lottery winner doesn’t need to retire

Harold Diamond didn’t need to win the NY Lottery to retire.

The 80 year old former elementary school principal was already enjoying life in retirement.

But $326 million sure will help make life more enjoyable.

The winner of the $326 million Mega Millions jackpot, the largest in New York Lottery history, accepted the check Monday at the same Valero gas station in Middleton, N.Y., where Diamond purchased the ticket Nov. 4.

Diamond said he and his wife were driving to Middleton on Election Day and pulled over at the gas station because of bad weather. While the couple ate lunch, Diamond said he noticed the flashing Mega Millions sign and decided to spend $10 for 10 tickets of Quick Pick numbers, the Associated Press reported.

“I put the ticket in my wallet and forgot about it,” Diamond said in a statement released by New York Lottery.

Just a day later, Diamond said he was playing golf with friends when someone mentioned the jackpot-winning ticket was purchased at a Valero on Route 302.

“I thought, wait a minute — I bought a ticket there last night,” Diamond said.

Diamond, who retired as principal of George L. Cook Elementary School in Monticello in 1995, said he was “in a dither, a real daze,” when he realized he had the winning ticket.

He opted to take the lump-sum payment, which after taxes will total $130,676,438.

Diamond said he plans to help his family with the money and give back to the local community.

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Georgia Lottery winner takes home $500,000 from The Big $5 Ticket

Wilton Andrews, Jr.,from Pooler, Georgia, won a cool half-million dollar prize playing The Big $5 Ticket instant game from the Georgia Lottery.

“I rode around with a bunch of tickets,” Andrews said. “I’d put them in the sun visor. When it got full, I pulled them down.”

Andrews, unknowingly, had the ticket for about two weeks before claiming his prize March 27 at the Georgia Lottery District Office in Savannah.

“I was at my lunch break at work when I scratched it,” Andrews said.

Gate Store #209, 418 E. Highway 80 in Pooler, sold the winning ticket.

A food processing plant employee, Andrews has no plans at the moment for his windfall.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $16 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program.

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NY CASH4LIFE Lottery Winner Has Perfect Ending for Retired Vietnam Veteran

The perfect lottery-winning story:

John Stresing, from West Seneca, NY, is a retired Bethlehem Steel worker and Vietnam Veteran.

He is a regular NY lottery player who always plays his family members’ birthdays, along with the number four, for the four members since the game started.

On February 2, the winner numbers for the CASH4LIFE drawing were 04-08-17-20-21 and Cash Ball 04.

The same numbers always played by Mr. Stresing who was now $7 million richer having won the $1,000-a-day top prize.

His immediate emotion was relief, saying that he could now pay off his bills, make life easier for his wife and kids, and “enjoy life.”

He also plans to take his wife, Sharon, on the honeymoon they never had. Next year they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They plan to go “some place warm.”

And he’s splitting the $7 million prize with his son, John “Jack” Stresing Jr. As for Stresing Jr., he plans to travel and possibly retire.

Each will receive $182,500 before taxes every single year for the rest of their lives.

Now that’s a perfect ending.

CASH4LIFE’s drawings are on Mondays and Thursdays. Each game costs $2. Players choose 5 of 60 numbers in the main field, and 1 of 4 (hence the game’s name) green “Cash Ball” numbers in a second field. Matching all six numbers wins, or shares (“split-prize liability”), the equivalent of $1,000-per-day-for-life, or $7,000,000 cash, at the winner’s option.

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How latest $1 million Powerball winner from Portland, OR, plans to spend his money

The first $1 million Powerball winner of 2015 is Bill Delmatoff, a special education paraeducator at da Vinci Arts Middle School in Northeast Portland.

Mr. Delmatoff said he didn’t believe he had won at first. In fact, he wasn’t absolutely sure until the giant check was in his hands.

Once he was certain, he took a day off work. No word yet on whether he’s ready to retire early now.

Oregon Lottery officials said the newest millionaire and his wife are planning to donate some of the money to charities that assist parents with foster children.

Purchased ticket on a whim

Mr. Delmatoff typically plays Oregon’s Megabucks lottery but on a whim, he decided to throw in an extra four bucks to play in the multi-state Powerball lottery.

“For some reason I bought a Powerball ticket, too,” he said. “Now I’m glad I did.”

Powerball is an American lottery game sold by 47 lotteries (44 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) as a shared jackpot game.

If you like playing state lotteries, you’ll love playing FreeLotto. The odds of winning are approximately the same and it’s free. So go ahead and see if you’re the next millionaire.

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“Gut Feeling” worth $126 million to lucky NY lottery winner

When it comes to winning the lottery, always trust your gut feeling.

At least that’s true for upstate New York real-estate broker Tammy Pratt who recently won the Mega Millions jackpot for $100 million.

A regular player, she typically buys a single ticket, but on a hunch last month she purchased 4 lottery tickets.

And did it pay off – big time – as Mrs. Pratt became the sole winner of the $126 million jackpot drawn on Feb. 27 on the second ticket she purchased.

“I just had a feeling I should get more than one,” she said at a press conference Wednesday where she was presented with a giant check.

Pratt said she learned she was a millionaire after checking the numbers the next morning.

“I saw that someone purchased the winning ticket in South Fallsburg. Then I saw it was purchased at the same store where I bought my ticket and I thought ‘Oh my God! Could the winner be me?’ ” she said.

After taxes, Pratt will pocket a one-time payment of $54 million.

Just goes to show you, never doubt a woman’s intuition.

If you’re feeling lucky, give FreeLotto a spin and maybe you could be the next millionaire. It’s free and it’s fun.

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Friday the 13th is a lucky day to win cash

Turns out Friday the 13th is a lucky day after all. At least for Tom Brown from Rockford, Illinois. Mr. Brown, 71, played the Illinois Lottery’s “Vegas” ticket on the infamous Friday and won $200,000 cash. He said his first order of business with the money is to take his wife, his two children, six grand-kids and two great-grandchildren on a trip to Disney World in Florida.

“Friday the 13th certainly was lucky for me,” said Tom Brown after turning in a winning scratch-off lottery ticket at a claim center.

The winning cash will come in handy, he said, because there are also bills he needs to pay.

Mr. Brown said he plays the lottery about once a week. Last Friday’s winning ticket was purchased at a Schnucks grocery store. The store earned a $2,000 payout for its part in the win.

Did you win any cash on Friday the 13th? Tell us in the comments section below if you were lucky. Test your luck for free when you play FreeLotto. Click below to play.

Florida Lottery winner's money still making a difference 26 years later

Florida Lottery winner’s money still making a difference 26 years later

Most people who play the lottery dream about all the different ways they would spend all that cash.

However, there’s one multimillion-dollar lottery winner who wasn’t interested in buying the biggest and most expensive items.

Sheelah Ryan was a Seminole County real estate agent in 1988. Then she hit it big time.

Ryan won the Florida Lottery back in 1988, with winnings more than $55 million. At the time, it was the largest payout to an individual winner in U.S. history. She died just five years after she won, but the charity she founded, the Ryan Foundation, lives on and continues to help others.

At the time of Ryan’s win, she was a widow and decided the money would be best spent on others rather than buying baubles and big cars for herself.

Ryan wanted to start a charity and got her friend, Pamela O’Hab, who was an accountant, to help.

“I knew her before she won the lottery, and she was one of the greatest people I’ve ever known,” O’Hab said.

O’Hab now sits on the Ryan Foundation’s board of directors. The charity focuses on the community.

“We do a lot with education,” O’Hab said. “We give to Seminole County Public Schools, we support backpack programs, we work with women’s rights and organizations like Safe House of Seminole County.”

The foundation still survives off Ryan’s winnings that were left behind almost three decades ago. O’Hab said it’s the legacy of helping others that Ryan lived for and it’s what she wants to preserve for her.

What you do if you were to win? Tell us in the comments below.

7 Time Lotto Winner Shares His Secrets

Most people dream of winning the lottery once in their lifetime, but Richard Lustig dreams bigger. He’s a seven-time lottery grand prize winner, and has some advice for other hopeful winners out there – “luck has nothing to do with it.” Lustig suggests first picking a set of numbers, then following these two rules, “One, never ever change any of those numbers and number two, never miss a draw in the game that you’re playing.” While Lustig makes sure to play the lottery frequently, he’s quick to offer a word of caution, “Figure out what you can afford and stay in your budget. Yes, you should play, because if you don’t play, you’re not going to win, but stay within budget.” That’s right Richard, we all know you have to be in it to win it!

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7 Seconds Cost Canada Man $27 Million

Get ready to cringe! Late in January, Canada’s Supreme Court denied an appeal hearing to a Quebec man who missed a $27 million dollar jackpot by…seven seconds! In 2008, Joel Ifergan purchased two tickets for a lottery drawing hoping to score a lucky win. Indeed the second ticket Joel bought turned out to be a winner, leading him to believe he was about to be a millionaire 27 times over. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that Joel’s second ticket was printed out seven seconds after the drawing deadline. He has spent the last seven years and $100,000 in legal fees trying to get the decision reversed. The Canadian Supreme Court ruling on January 29 marks the end of the line for Joel and his hopes of seeing the $27 million winnings. Joel told reporters, “I’m really disappointed in the decision, and it’s not because it’s about the money. Had those tickets been bought anywhere else in Canada, I would have been a millionaire seven years ago.” Let this be a cautionary lesson to lotto players everywhere – get your bets in on time!

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‘Regular Joe’ Joins Millionaire’s Club

Jesus Davila’s wishes may be modest, but his next check certainly isn’t. As the sole winner of the January 16th Illinois state lottery drawing, Jesus will take home $127 million in a lump sum payment. What is he planning for his first new purchase? “I would like to a buy a big house with a really big lawn … and a riding lawn mower” he said earlier this week. Jesus also plans to share some of the money with his four children and four grandchildren. At an official press conference to announce his winning, Jesus reminded lottery players everywhere, “You can’t win if you don’t play. I’m just a regular Joe, and I played.”

First Powerball Winner Comes Forward

“I’m just grateful for this moment” said North Carolina resident Marie Holmes when interviewed by reporters about her Powerball win earlier this month. She is the first of three lucky winners to publicly come forward, and opted to take a lump sum payment of $127 million. She recalled the moment she realized her ticket was a winner, “I just happened to check Facebook and my friend had a post up with the numbers on it so I looked at the numbers and I had my numbers in my hand and I was like these are the same numbers on my ticket, then I started screaming and stuff and my kids ran away from me and said I scared them.” Marie’s four children will certainly benefit most from her enormous winnings, the 5th largest in Powerball history. According to Marie, “This is going to make a huge difference for them. They’re going to be able to go to school, not have to worry about paying for it. They’re going to be able to live a comfortable life and not worry about struggling.” In addition to providing for her family, Marie also plans donate some of her winnings to the local church and charities.

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Big Win on a Little Scratch Off

A Michigan woman and mother of three got a big return on her $10 scratch off ticket after matching enough numbers to win $250,000. While the winning woman prefers to remain anonymous, the store owner where she purchased the ticket was happy to report, “It was really exciting to watch their expressions. It’s nice to see someone local who won it.” Vick Rathaur has owned the small store, JNK Corners, for a number of years and definitely feels the effects of selling the lucky scratch off, “It’s kind of exciting,” he said, “I’m very happy to be selling more winning tickets. I think people are going to buy more tickets here thinking maybe this store is lucky.”

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Lottery Winners Get Involved In Sports

Lottery Winners Get Involved In Sports

When dreaming of winning the lottery, most people think of buying a mansion to live in, or a coastal view cottage as vacation home, or a brand new sporty Mercedes and so on.

You will almost never hear about lotto fans who dream of hitting the jackpot in order to invest in their favorite sports club. You will hear them talking about donating to charity, but does this include the local gym?

Although it is not part of the big “winning the lottery dream”, these kind of things do happen!

The lucky Brits who won the EuroMillions jackpot in July 2011 have often made the headlines because of their extravagant spending, but also for their charitable donations. A football fan, Mr. Weir redirected a part of his sudden fortune towards the world of sports. In June 2012, he donated £750,000 to his local football team, Largs Thistle, to help them pay the bills and upgrade their facilities. A year later, he sponsored the foundation of Partick Thistle youth academy, aimed at opening the doors of professional football for 120 young players, while providing the necessary facilities to play football and to train to up to 1000 young people.

The 63-year-old lucky Norwegian, Yngvar Borgesen from Skien, won the 13.5 million € EuroJackpot prize in May last year – the largest lottery prize ever in Norwegian history. Ever since he came forward and claimed his prize, he declared he wanted to do something for the local community. Borgesen decided to invest in the local football club Odds Ballklubb and, foremost in their young defender Fredrik Semb Berge, who had made his senior international debut in a game against South Africa, and was at risk of being sold because of financial difficulties.  The player continued to play for the club where his father had previously played and, soon after Borgesen’s donation, he took Norway to the semifinals of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship! Read more about his decision here.

Gareth and Catherine Bull said the sudden £40 million did not really changed their lives. They even joke saying they were boring before, and continue to be boring even if they have the status of millionaires now. However, some things did change: they had the freedom to quit their jobs and can now spend a great deal of their time volunteering at the local sports club, Debdale Park Sports & Recreational Club, where their kids play football.

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Looking to win the EuroMillions? Move to Ireland.

Ireland may be the luckiest place to be currently if you want to win the EuroMillions lottery due to the high number of recent winners.

This week there were two winners of the EuroMillions Plus top prize. Both winning tickets were sold in Ireland – Dublin and the Midlands.

Each of the lucky pair are now €500,000 richer after their lucky numbers were chosen – 5, 20, 30, 39 and 41.

There was no winner of the EuroMillions main jackpot of €58,852,109.

Last month a lucky Corkman scooped €500,000 in the Plus draw after flying back to Ireland following months of working abroad.

To see which countries have been the luckiest historically, see the table below:

Country: Jackpot Winners: Percentage of Total
Jackpot Winners:
France 76 24.9%
Spain 69 22.6%
Portugal 54 17.7%
UK 47 15.4%
Belgium 24 7.9%
Switzerland 14 4.6%
Austria 12 3.9%
Ireland 7 2.3%
Luxembourg 2 0.7%
Total: 305 100%
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What Would You Do if You Won the Lottery?

Why we play lotteries. And why it’s a good idea if done right.

Do you ever dream about winning the lottery?

Sure you’ll find people who think that buying lottery tickets is among the silliest decisions a person could make. And it is true that the odds of winning anything substantial are very much stacked against you.

There is no doubt that people should not spend money on lottery tickets that they can’t afford to lose. If you have a gambling problem, or are financially destitute, it is a terrible idea. And for anyone to stake his or her financial future on lottery tickets is beyond foolish.

But – and this is the important part – there are a couple of dimensions that these tut-tutted warnings miss, perhaps fueled by a class divide between those who commonly buy lottery tickets and those who choose to throw away money on other things like expensive wine or mansions.

As long as one thinks about the purchase of lottery tickets the right way — again, purely a consumption good, not an investment — it can be a completely rational decision. The biggest and most generally applicable reason buying lottery tickets is a non-terrible idea is this: It is fun to imagine one’s future after arriving at vast wealth.

Who doesn’t daydream about what sorts of houses and cars and airplanes one would buy with the half-billion-dollar Powerball grand prize? (It’s more like around $340 million in cash value terms; the larger number is if the prize is taken as an annual payment.)

Fantasizing about what you would do if you suddenly encountered great wealth is fun, and it is more fun if there is some chance, however minuscule, that it could happen. The $2 price for a ticket is a relatively small one to pay for the enjoyment of thinking through how you might organize your life differently if you had all those millions.