Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The largest jackpot won in lottery history

It was on Wednesday 13 January, 2016 that the largest lottery in the word to date was won, by not one, but three tickets. The total winnings of the Powerball jackpot were $1.586 billion.  The anticipation of this Powerball jackpot created a frenzy of ticket purchasing in the US on the day of the lottery draw with the odds of winning was 1 in 292.2 million.

As per Powerball US rules, the conditions of the winnings are either an annual payment of the total amount over a period of 29 years or a smaller lump-sum payment, after the government has taken its meaty 39.6% portion.

The largest jackpot won prior to this draw was in March 2012 and was from the US Lottery Mega Millions and was a total of $656 million.

The winning tickets were brought forward by Maureen Smith and her partner David Kaltschmidt form Florida, Lisa and John Robinson from Tennessee, and Mae and Marvin Acosta from California.

Maureen Smith
Maureen Smith and her partner, David Kaltschmidt from Florida came forward just a month after the winning numbers were chosen.
Initially they chose to keep the information private from their children in order to confirm their winnings.
Mrs Smith chose the same numbers each time she played for many years, without ever winning anything. She said that they were looking forward to purchasing a new vehicle and investing their time and new found wealth in charities and investments.

Lisa and John Munford
This couple decided to take the lump sum rather than the annual pay-out. They were interviewed by NBC prior to claiming their wins creating a bit of scepticism as this wasn’t the usual way to react to winning such a large sum of money.
Mr and Mrs Munford were initially in complete disbelief of the fact that they had won and kept on checking and re-checking the winning numbers and their ticket. They decided that evening that they would only believe that they were winners if the news reported a winner of the jackpot in the morning.

Regardless of the morning news announcing that the jackpot had been won, Mr and Mrs Munford decided to carry on with life as normal and went to work. They cannot, however, deny the impact that these winnings will have on their lives.

Mae and Marvin Acosta
Whilst the other two winners of the money came forward shortly after the numbers of the winning tickets were announced, Mae and Marvin Acosta took over six months to come forward.
They explained that the reason for the delay was that they were lining up legal counsel to assist in correctly handling their winnings.
When interviewed the couple said that they were dedicating nearly all of the money to a trust and charities and chose to keep any other information from the media to ensure privacy.

The winning lottery numbers were:
4 – 8 – 19 – 27 – 34 and PB 10

Winning the lottery jackpot is without a doubt a huge life changing event. Unfortunately, so many winners mismanage their winnings and waste it away very shortly after winning rather than planning their future and being smart, click here to read up on advice on how to manage your winnings wisely.

To increase your chances of becoming the next big winner, go to to play the top lotteries from anywhere in the world.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

From destitute to in the loot!

War tends to destroy many countries, unsettling their people and more often than not, leaving them desperate and destitute. From Syria, Senegal, Mali and Morocco we have some winners stories proving that against all odds, and with a little luck or a lottery jackpot, people can come out victorious.

When a man flees a war-torn country to try and make a new life for himself and he manages to change his stars. Refugees who almost died crossing from Africa to Europe struggle to start a new life but manage to win and other migrants celebrate a happy Christmas indeed. 

These are stories that are bound to put a smile on your face.

In 2011 a young man, in his thirties, left his home country of Syria to start a new life in France. There he worked as a labourer as many migrants do. This lucky man, who remains unnamed, purchased a scratchcard in June 2015 at an outlet in Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris.

The man, when interviewed by the French daily newspaper, La Parisien, said that he had used some of his winnings to purchase an apartment, and has plans of opening his own restaurant. With the remainder of the winnings, he would like to bring the rest of his family from Syria to France.

The very popular ‘one million euros’ scratchcards saw 215 winners in 2015 of which the Syrian refugee was one.

The Syrian man wasn’t the only refugee to win the lottery. Another touching story is that of Ngame, who hails from Senegal.

Ngame, elGordo Lottery Winner 2015
In 2007, the Spanish coastguard saved the lives of many migrants, whose ship was sinking. Among those saved were 35-year-old, Ngame and his wife. They made a living by working as farm labourers and vegetable pickers as migrants often do in Almeria.

The couple, who often do not have € 5 between the two of them, managed to purchase a ticket for Spain’s Christmas Lottery 'elGordo', at a ticket outlet in Roquetas de Mar, Almeria.

Find out more about ‘elGordo’ by clicking here.

The winning number for the 2015 ‘elGordo’ Lottery was 79140 which had appeared on 1,600 tickets in Roquetas de Mar, this lucky number saw Ngame and his wife win € 400,000.

When interviewed, the currently out of work, Ngame was unsure of how they would spend their winnings.

Ngame and his wife were one of 35 African migrants to have won a share in the 2015 Christmas Lottery. Their winners included migrants from Mali and Morocco.

Among the winners was Moroccan-born, Imanes Naamane, who agreed that her share of winnings would change the life of her family. In an interview by La Vos de Almeria the 18-year-old is said to have stated that her family was in trouble before but winning the lottery will allow them to do a lot of things, in fact, everything that they want to do.

2015 saw some great lottery winners’ stories, especially for these Refugees whose lives have most definitely been transformed for the better. Winning lottery numbers can be a great blessing indeed. 

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Wednesday, May 03, 2017


Things are done a little differently in Spain! They have festivals where brave (or mad) thrill-seekers try to outrun rampaging bulls rush through the narrow streets of Pamplona, costumed townspeople jump over babies to ward off evil spirits and illness near Burgos, it is also home to the world’s biggest tomato fight near Valencia.

These events and many more do make Spain a great place for tourists and it is the reason so many visitors flock to the country annually.

However these unique celebrations and festivals are not the only thing the Spanish do differently, they also have an unusual take on the Lottery. Sure they have the normal National Lottery Draws as well as daily and Sunday draws, they even partake in the EuroMillions lottery. But they also have three big lottery draws each year, them being elGordo ("the big one"), elNino and a Summer elGordo.

Sheet of tickets
a tenth of a ticket 'participation'
The tickets for these draws are more like raffle tickets than lottery tickets as each ticket has a 5-digit number. 

There are 100,000 unique ticket numbers, however, as more than 100,000 tickets are sold numbers are duplicated a maximum number of times and this is recorded by series number. The amount of series’ issued from year to year can differ.

An example from Wikipedia shows that in 2015, there were 180 series of 100,000 tickets each, giving a total of 18,000,000 tickets available at a cost of €200 each. That’s €3.6 billion worth of tickets that were sold, making the prizes worth €2.52 billion (70% of ticket sales).

Due to the cost of these tickets, it is common to purchase a portion of a ticket in the form of a ‘participation’ which is similar to the way a syndicate works. Where a ‘participation’ will receive a percentage of the prize that their number is allocated should it be drawn.

The next one up is the Summer elGordo, the draw takes place on Saturday 1st July 2017 with 140,000,000 € worth of prizes to be won.

Following that is the elGordo, the Spanish Christmas Lottery, which has been drawn every year since 1812 making it the second longest continuously running lottery in the world and according to Wikipedia, the draws even took place during the years of the Civil War.
The elGordo draw takes place on the 22nd of December every year, tickets for this draw start to become available from early July.

The following draw is elNino, a New Year draw which takes place on 6th January tickets for this draw will start to become available from mid-October.

Each of the 100,000 ticket numbers appears on a wooden ball, and 1 ball is drawn for the first prize, 1 for the second prize and 1 for third. 2 balls are drawn for the fourth prize, 8 balls for the fifth and 1794 balls are drawn for smaller prizes.

The odds of evening out the cost of a big lottery ticket are of 10%, which can be done by matching the last digit of a first prize ticket. Chances of higher winnings are approximately 5.3%.

The prize structures of these big lottery’s make it easier to win when compared to other lotteries.

While the chances of winning a first prize in elGordo, elNino or Summer elGordo are 1 in 100,000 (0.001%), the chances of winning the top prize in EuroMillions are 1 in 116,531,800 (0.0000000086%).

It is true that most of the funds raised by these big lottery’s and the majority of the prize money is distributed amongst the people of Spain. Most people are happy to only play these big lottery’s and not partake in the smaller ones and others play only the weekly lottery’s.

Should you be visiting Spain in the near future, pick up a big lottery ticket or a portion of one and try your luck, or play lottery games online from anywhere in the world with

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Thursday, April 06, 2017

Strength in Numbers

There is most definitely strength in numbers and this is proven to be true the world over, throughout history. Would you believe that this is also true for people playing the lottery?

Groups of like-minded individuals form syndicates, pool their money and play various numbers or various lottery games. They can be groups of family members, friends, work colleagues or even complete strangers.

The bonus of playing the lottery as a part of a syndicate is that you may be able to play more number combinations, more frequently and/or on more lottery games that you may not have even thought about before.

Have a look at some Syndicate Stories here:

Fellow pub goers from The Kings Arms, in Essex established a syndicate comprising of 16 members. The syndicate was formed almost three years prior and led by Emma Crawford, the landlady of The Kings Arms. In February 2017 they matched five numbers and a bonus number, landing them a win of £187,109 which means £11,694 per member. The members will use their winnings to do home improvements, upgrade vehicles and for trips abroad.


In 2005 a syndicate of 11 Tesco employees from Yorkshire pocketed a £18.2 million lottery jackpot. Their syndicate had started off with 13 people in the same year that their store installed a lottery terminal back in 1995. Each member chose a line of numbers and those were the numbers played every week. When a member opted out of the syndicate another member picked up the line without changing the numbers. Each member won £1.4 million and the two members that picked up the departed members lines each won an additional £1.4 million. These syndicate members lives were changed with one winning lottery ticket.


In South Africa, a husband and wife syndicate who had been playing the lottery, since its inception earlier that year, scooped up a R4.2 million lottery jackpot back in 2000. It is said that their lucky numbers were made up of a combination of family member’s birthdates. The pair of accomplished professionals from Kwa-Zulu Natal province listed fishing, skiing and mountain climbing as some of their favourite pastimes, so you can only imagine where their winnings took them.


A group of Facebook Friends, some of whom had never even met, have won on 80 separate occasions. Set up by Gary Schei, the syndicate aptly named Gary’s Payers is a group of 38 members. To date, they have won 79 smaller prizes and one big jackpot of £1.1 million. Some of the syndicate’s winners have paid off their debts or made extravagant purchases, however, Gary himself has allocated his winnings to paying off his mortgage and going on a holiday with his daughter.


In 2012 The Three Amigos became one of the best-known lottery syndicate wins of all time when they bagged a third of $656 million Jackpot in a Mega Millions draw. The group of friends from Maryland split $218,600 000. Find out more about their lucky ticket and other big wins here.


Syndicates can be made up of as little as two people and are so much fun to be a part of, not only does it increase your chances of winning and allow you access to a wider variety of lottery games but it also inspires a social aspect which will get you excited to see the winning numbers at each draw.

You can join a syndicate or create your own right here with Lottery Network.

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