Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lottery Near Misses

Remember that feeling of euphoria when your numbers come up? Have you ever had that chased by that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you can't find your lottery ticket?

This week we share some stories of those lost tickets:

Richard and Dione Buss from Bristol, England had a very near miss when Richard threw away the ticket after the lottery draw on a Wednesday night. 
His wife, Dione remembered a few days later that the ticket bought was actually for a weekly draw and was still valid for that Saturday’s draw and fortunately was able to retrieved the ticket from the bin.

They discovered their lucky win on the Sunday evening and had to wait till the Monday morning to claim their prize, of £ 1,900 000.00.  From their winnings they planned to travel, treat their family and friends and donate to the hospital where Mrs. Buss was receiving treatment for her MS condition.

Another near miss was of Mr. Pete Kemp, of Des Moines in Iowa, who went to a gas station to have his ticket checked for any winnings.  The clerk accidentally tore the ticket up while throwing away some paperwork.  

Mr. Kemp only realised that he didn’t have his ticket when he was on his way back to the car and went back into the store.  Luckily the clerk was able to retrieve both parts of the ticket at tape it together as Pete Kemp was the lucky winner of $1 000 000.00.

James Wilson of Gloucestershire England had his own very near miss.  Mr. Wilson was busy cleaning out his wallet when he came across an old ticket. Out of curiosity he checked his numbers online and noticed that he had the winning numbers, with just one day to spare James was able to claim his prize of £51,232.90. 

The Lottery had been advertising for 6 months trying to find the winning lottery ticket and the whole time it was stuffed at the back of his wallet! Luckily Mr. Wilson was still able to claim his prize otherwise I suspect that might have been a story he would of carried to his grave.

Few came as close as a couple in Seattle who bought a lottery ticket for the $350 000 000.00 draw, and upon discovery that they didn’t win the big prize they discarded the ticket in their car.  

Approximately three months later their car got burgled of a pair of sunglasses that was ironically lying on top of the ticket.  After that they decided to check their ticket again and discovered that they actually won on the second chance draw a sizeable $ 1 000 000.00

What a great consolation prize for the pair of stolen sun glasses.

The moral of these stories are, keep your tickets safe, check your tickets regularly and it’s safer to play online!!

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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

From Humble Beginings to massive education funding

The New York Lottery officially began in 1967 after a vote, by New Yorkers on November 8th 1966, for a government-run lottery with the proceeds being applied exclusively to, or in aid or support of, education. Prior to this, informal New York lotteries were used for non-educational needs. 

Its first slogan was "Your Chance of a Lifetime to Help Education" and to date the lottery has generated over $34 billion to aid education revenue. Today it is a part of the New York State Gaming Commission, and still provides much needed revenue for public education. 

The first big winner of the New York Lottery was Lou Eisenberg, who won $5,000,000 in 1981. Back then, winners could not choose cash in lieu of annuity payments, so Lou was paid out in installments.

Despite being the U.S. lottery with the highest number of sales, the New York lottery has been criticised for offering the lowest pay outs, at no more than 40 cents per dollar earned. In the 2011-2012 period sales were down nearly 15% from the previous year.  

Some of the Laws Governing the New York Lottery include the fact that lottery winners are subject to Federal Income Tax, as well as Local Income Tax if they are New York residents. Players must be at least 18 years old even if playing the video lottery; however, if a Quick Draw ticket is issued at a place where alcohol is served the minimum age is 21.

To date the biggest winner of the New York Lottery is Mr. Harold Diamond, who purchased a Mega Millions Lotto Ticket, from a gas station.  He was the sole winner of $326 million dollars. Mr. Diamond thanks his wife for the win as they were on their way out for supper, when bad weather made them re-think their trip and his wife insisted they stop for supper at the station.
The retired educator, who was 80 years old when he won the lottery, opted for the lump sum instead of 30 annual payments. The former educator received $197.45 million, the rest of which accounts for state and federal taxes.

If you choose the lump sum rather than the extended payout, you will receive much less money than the advertised jackpot value, generally slightly more than half. However if you choose the extended payout option, the state takes the present cash value of the jackpot and buys an annuity or bonds that will generate interest to fund the future payments and you receive the Jackpot amount less the various taxes.

For your chance to play the New York Lottery click here: 

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Practical tips for winning the lottery

If you find yourself in the lucky position of holding a big jackpot winning ticket, don’t let your excitement get the better of you.


Keep your ticket safe until such time as it can be verified and you can claim your jackpot. See this story of how Jerry Ritieni almost lost his winning ticket

If you shout your good fortune from the rooftops you may find yourself in a compromising position or even worse dead. Keep your win a secret for as long as possible so as not to draw unnecessary attention to yourself, as was the case with Abraham Shakespeare.

Seek out sound financial advice so that you are not blindsided by taxes, costs and unexpected clauses that can leave you in a worse off position than before you hit the big time. Read about Batsirayi Mupfawi here.

Donating some or all of your winnings to charity can be a humbling experience and you would most definitely make a difference in the lives of others. Have a look at our stories on lucky lottery winners who did just that. 


Do you take the lump sum or an annual payout? Making your new found fortune work for you is definitely the key to being a happy lottery winner. Having a giant bank balance can lead you into temptation as was the case with the UK’s youngest lottery winner who is almost broke

Investing in your future or the future of your children and heirs can be achieved with the correct financial planning and there is no reason to make hasty decisions that will find you falling short. Most lottery organisations do offer advice or contacts to acquire further advice. Sensible winners such as the likes of Jane Park and Tracey Makin have good stories. 

It’s not all doom and gloom so do make sure that you do indulge in something that you have always dreamed of be is a sports car, a much needed vacation, or a new home, after all you did just win the lottery!

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

10 of the Biggest US Lottery Jackpots of all Time!

We love big lottery wins and sharing the stories with you, but have you ever wondered who won the biggest lottery jackpots, where they were from and which lottery’s they played?  Below we have just such a list to share with you.

10. $414 Million Mega Millions jackpot was won by two tickets in the 18th March draw 2014. The one an anonymous winner from Maryland and the other by Raymond Moyer and Robyn Collier of Florida.

9. A $425.3 Million Powerball jackpot was won by a single lottery ticket holder on February 19th 2014. A retiree from California named Mr B. Raymond Buxton.

8. On 7 May 2016 a $429.6 Million Powerball jackpot was won by a single ticket, the winner has yet to come forward. This is one of the biggest single lottery winning tickets ever. Read more about this story here. 

7. $448.4 Million Powerball jackpot was won by three tickets on 7 August 2013. The first ticket held by a project engineer from Minnesota, the second a 70 year old man from New Jersey and the third winning ticket was held by a syndicate of 16 colleagues who were victims of Superstorm Sandy.

6. The $564 Million Powerball jackpot drawn on 11 February 2015 saw three winning tickets. One an anonymous player from Puerto Rico, one by Andrew Webber of Texas and the other was held by 26 year old, Marie Holmes of North Carolina. A single mother of four, who had been holding down no less than four jobs to support her family.

5. On the 28th of November 2012 a $587.5 Million Powerball jackpot was won by two tickets. Matthew Good from Arizona held the one winning ticket and Cindy and Mark Hill of Missouri held the other.

4. A $590.5 Million Powerball jackpot was won by a single ticket holder on 18 May 2013. 84-year old Gloria Mackenzie had purchased a very lucky quick pick ticket in her home state Florida.

3. December 17th 2013 saw a $648 Million Mega Millions lottery draw was won by two tickets. Ira Curry from Georgia and Steve Tran of San Jose, California.

2. Three winning tickets laid claim to a $656 Million Mega Millions Lottery jackpot drawn on 30th March 2012. The winning tickets were held by a retired couple from Illinois, Merle and Peter Butler, the “Three Amigos” a group of friends from Maryland and an anonymous winner from Kansas.

1. The biggest Lottery Jackpot in US history was a $1.6 Billion Powerball jackpot that saw three lucky ticket winners. Maureen Smith a 70 year old lady from Melbourne Beach, Florida, John and Lisa Robinson from Munford Tennessee and an anonymous winner from Chino Hills, California. 

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