Thursday, January 18, 2018

15 Incredible Lottery Facts - Part 1

15 Incredible Lottery Facts

Not only does the lottery make dreams come true and changes a lot of lives, it also has some amazing stories, facts and drama of its own. Here are 15 of the most incredible lottery facts.

(PART 1)

1. Not checking or losing a lottery ticket has cost someone, big-time!
The World Record the for the largest unclaimed lottery prize’s draw date was the 8th of June 2012, for a Euromillions ticket sold in the UK worth £63,837,543.60. Even if some one finds the ticket now, it will be of no use to them as there is an expiry date for the collection of lottery prizes! On the upside - all unclaimed National Lottery prizes go toward the Good Causes Fund.
See more stories here.

2. A $590 million lesson in politeness
Mindy Crandall let 84-year-old Gloria Mackenzie cut in line at a grocery store in Florida because we are taught to be respectful and polite to our elders. There was a Powerball ticket on both of their shopping lists and because of the line jump 84-year-old Gloria Mackenzie won $590Million. Crandall said that she doesn’t regret letting Gloria Mackenzie jump the line because it taught her daughter an important lesson of kindness. Skip the grocery line and play Powerball online to save yourself from a scenario like this! Read more here.

3. One very accurate fortune cookie made lottery history

In 2003, 110 tickets matched the second-highest Powerball prize division. Powerball suspected fraud because there is usually zero to four winners per draw. What they found was much more interesting than a case of lottery tampering. People played the numbers on one lucky fortune cookie that has been making its rounds in Chinese restaurants across the country. 89 ticket holders won $100.000 and 21 won $500.00 because they chose the Power Play which multiplied their winnings. An important lesson learned - cookies are good for you!

4. The low-lying European countries are lottery pioneers
Netherlands and Belgium in the 15th century were the first lotteries on record that offered tickets in exchange for money prizes. One of the first lotteries with a complete record was held in 1445 in L’Ecluse (Modern-day Sluis) the prize was 1.737 florins (roughly $170.000 in today’s money) and it sold over 4300 tickets. Most of the income was used to help the poor and to build town infrastructure.

5. The word 'lottery' is a multi-cultural mashup
The English word lottery originates from the Dutch word ‘lot’ which means ‘fate’. Lotto originates from Italian. The first post-roman empire lottery in Italy was held in Milan in 1449.

Check back next week for some more incredible lottery facts!

But for now – why not get yourself a lottery ticket online with

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Miracle Mile Fairly Tale

When it comes to buying lottery tickets we tend to focus on the numbers.  But what if your location could improve your chances? Fond du Lac, a small city in Wisconsin, is home to the “Miracle Mile”.  Stores on this main street have sold more than 14 winning tickets in the past 20 years. One of these lucky winners was Les Robins.
While running errands in Fond du Lac on a Saturday afternoon, Robins decided to purchase a lottery ticket.  The odds of being the sole winner were 1 in 54.9 million.  Robins had selected number 30 as his power ball and when this was drawn he joked that he must have won a buck or two.  However when he put the numbers in order he was shocked to see that he had them all.  He had beaten the odds and won $111 million, a record at the time.
Robins was a junior high school teacher and when he won his millions knew exactly what he wanted to invest in, children. He purchased 226 acres and built a day camp for children along Lake Winnebago’s eastern shore, Camp Winnegator. 
The inspiration behind the dream was Robins own childhood. “I just hated to see kids not doing the kind of things we did growing up – playing soccer, softball, hanging out” Robin said.
At Camp Winnegator there’s no shortage of activities to help the children disconnect with technology and engage with nature.  Activities range from cooling off in the lake, exploring trails on horseback, painting pictures and playing games. Robins is giving the children an opportunity to be just that, children. “I basically consider myself a mentor to kids in any way I can be, whether it’s in the classroom, their personal lives or on the basketball court” Robins shared. 
After 20 years Robins has a more low key role in the camp these days. However he still likes to be found tinkering around the property or at the back of the gym on a Friday night, when the weekly camp sessions end.  Here Robins can watch the children, parents and counsellors eat dinner and observe the sense of community he has helped to facilitate.
When asked what advice he would give future lottery winners: Put a portion of the cash into a irrevocable trust for up to three years. “Let time tell them what they really want to do with it,” he said.
Winning the lottery has enabled Robins to positively impact children’s lives in ways he would have never thought possible.  It might not be the life Robins planned, but it’s the dream he now lives. Robins found his happily ever after on the Fond du Lac miracle mile.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Lucky Unlucky Day

In a world filled with superstitions and strange beliefs, it is not surprising that lottery players take heed of certain superstitions when playing. One of the biggest fears of bad luck involves the number 13, to the extent that airlines do not have a Row 13 on their airplanes. In light of this, the unluckiest day of the year- Friday the 13th - would not be the day of choice for lottery hopefuls. Nigel Willetts, a 48-year-old pub landlord from Bedwas, Wales, defied all odds and purchased a lottery ticket on the unluckiest day of the year. The result? His luckiest day yet!

Willets decided to go against all odds one superstitious Friday the 13th afternoon by spending £20 on lottery tickets at a Tesco store in his local town. Not naturally a superstitions fellow, Willetts shared that when he realised he had bought a lottery ticket on Friday the 13th, it did stay on his mind for a while. Willets only saw the results on his phone on Saturday during a gap he had from working at his pub, and asked his partner, Jane Whittingham, to double check what he was seeing. In sheer disbelief, both Willets and Whittingham rushed down to the Tesco store to ask the cashier to confirm his win. Only after hearing it from someone else did the reality of his big win kick in. Even more surprising was the fact that he was the only raffle winner in Britain, beating odds of 13 million to 1!

After realising that he was, in fact, a millionaire, Willet and his regulars had an eight-hour celebration at his Bridgend Inn, offering drinks on the house to all his loyal customers. His celebratory drink of choice? “My usual tipple, cider and black – about eight pints of it.” The festivities ended at 6am the following morning, with family and friends having poured in from all over to share in the good news. Willet is only licensed to stay open until 1am, but being a new millionaire, he didn’t care.

With the world at his fingertips, Willets decided to keep the pub open. He shared that he loves his pub and that his customers mean the world to him and all the money in the world wouldn’t make him give that up. He used part of his winnings to pay off the mortgage on the pub with the aim of finally making it his. In addition, he purchased a new Range Rover, and went on holiday with Whittingham to the Maldives. Willet is a father of four and a grandfather of two, and planned to care for his family to ensure they were well looked after.

It only takes one daring soul who challenges common belief to experience a life-changing win! Whether the supernatural are revered or not, players can take their luck into their own hands and determine their own destiny. Willets is living proof that the odds may be stacked against you, but you will come out triumphant!

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Biggest Win of All

Biggest Win of All

One of the biggest lotto wins in Europe was won by a couple in July 2011. Colin and Christine Weir, from Largs, Ayrshire, who won the entire whopping jackpot of £161 million in the EuroMillions draw.

The couple had been married for thirty years by that time and have two children, Carly (30) who was studying photography at the time, and their son Jamie (28) who then worked in a local call centre.
Colin had worked as a TV cameraman and studio manager for 23 years whilst Chris had been a psychiatric nurse for 37 years, allowing the family to live a comfortable life within their means. Unfortunately, by 2011 both had been unable to work for several years due to serious health issues. This lotto win stunned them and Mr Weir had said, “When we first won, it had felt like a dream. Everything went in slow motion.”

Luckily the family seems rather level headed and did not blow their millions as so many do. Mrs Weir said that they had many opportunities to explore but that they did not want to rush into anything. For them, she said, it would be about gradual change and choices. The first things they mentioned were a new home, including homes for each of their children, new cars for themselves and of course the opportunity to travel. Mrs Weir said that they were most excited about the travel opportunities.

 Mr Weir had never been fond of travel due to his rheumatoid arthritis and leg injury; however, first class tickets would definitely persuade him as it would be far less hassle. Where would they like to go? Top of their list was the Great Wall of China, art galleries in Paris and Russia, Cambodia and Thailand, standing at the foot of Ayers Rock in Australia,  and fulfilling Mr Weir’s dream of watching Barcelona play from the comfort of his own box at the Camp Nou stadium.

The first thing the Weirs did was clear their debt. Then a month after winning, they  sold their modest three bedroom and bought Knock House, a sprawling 5 bedroom with a 3 bedroom gatehouse for guest accommodation, for around £800 000. They spent a three years renovating and then sold it, moving into a larger, 3-acre estate worth a nice £3 million. Each child also got their own house and started taking driving lessons.

The Weirs have also become quite well known for donating to charitable causes and set up their own foundation, The Weir CharitableTrust (, shortly after their win. Amongst other things, they have also become one of the UK’s biggest political donors and have invested heavily in the Partick Thistle football club.

The Weirs modest three bedroom house in Largs.

The Weirs first mansion, Knock House

The Weirs current mansion, Frognal Estate in Troon, Scotland

The Weirs are still greatly enjoying their fortune which catapulted them into 430th place on the Sunday Times rich list, not far below the Beckhams who have an official fortune of £165 million. “It seems absolutely fantastical,” said Mrs Weir, “I woke up on Tuesday morning and everything was ordinary. I woke up on Wednesday and the world was totally different for us.” One thing is certain, the family has definitely lived by the adage of “with great wealth comes great responsibility.”

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