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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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Winning the Lottery – Here’s How

Winning the Lottery – Here’s How

The lottery has a reputation for being a game of chance in which the fate of players depends completely on numbers chosen at random. Players select six numbers from a set of balls numbered between one and fifty, and wait in anticipation to see if the numbers selected match any of those picked. It is, in essence, a gamble. Or is it?

In order to stand a chance to win the lottery, a lottery ticket actually needs to be purchased. It seems like an obvious point, but the number of individuals who believe that they will be selected to win millions ‘by chance’ is oddly high. The principle is quite simple - the more tickets purchased, the greater the chances of winning!

Does the equipment have any part to play in which numbers are selected? In short, no. There are two types of Lotto machines used, namely the gravity pick machine and the air mix machine. Both are designed to produce random combinations of numbers, as well as always have the balls visible during the process of selection. These elements prevent tampering and ensure fairness to all players, causing players to rely entirely on their own selection of random numbers to impact their win.

While the winning number combinations are not pre-selected, the odds of picking a correct number have been calculated to be 8.33%. This is based on the fact that there are fifty numbers to choose from, and only six balls are picked, meaning that there are six opportunities for the correct number to be picked. So, although picking the winning combination will take a bit more time and thought, the odds of getting at least one correct number are higher.

When it comes to picking a winning combination, there are a number of patterns to avoid. The first of these is to select the same numbers from a recent draw. While it may seem logical that those numbers enriched the lives of another player, the odds of that exact combination reoccurring in such a short period of time is unheard of. A second pattern to steer clear of is using birthdays as a selection. Not only does this selection limit your number choice from 1 to 31, but the number of players who use their birthday combinations increases your chances of sharing any winnings you receive should your numbers be picked. Selecting numbers that were predicted by a fortune teller or fortune cookie will likely end in disappointment. In these instances, several people may receive the same information, once again diminishing the grand total up for grabs.

Playing consistently not only increases the chances of winning, but allows players to get an idea of how many ways the winnings are split and the link between numbers and patterns. Selecting numbers at random may not be the wisest decision, but being consistent with your number selection in varied combinations gives a greater chance of winning. While some players swear by particular rituals and methods of selection, fate often plays a bigger hand in selecting its next winner.

Keep on playing – you never know when it could be you!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Money Used Wisely

Money Used Wisely

We have all pictured it…Summer holidays, new houses, fancy cars… the stuff dreams are made of! We play the lottery weekly with the belief that one day, those distant dreams will become our reality. Winning the lottery undoubtedly enriches lives, but just what kind of influence does it have on the decisions people make?

United Kingdom’s Thea Bristow was the winner of an incredible £15 million pounds. Being the sole breadwinner in her family due to her husband’s back injury, Thea never imagined that she would ever be able to rest a day in her life again. Thea played the lottery on a regular basis and had won a few pounds back here and there, but it took Thea some time to grasp the reality of how her life would change when she discovered that she had all 6 numbers correct. After discovering that she had in fact won, Thea had to work hard to convince her husband, Paul, that they had not won thousands but millions! His disbelief also soon turned to sheer joy. 

Thea and Paul discussed the possibilities that their big win opened up, and decided that following the humble route was best. The following day, Thea returned to work as usual at a small factory that made souvenirs and the couple then made their first purchase - a Kenwood Chef, which Paul felt would enhance their lives as it would make it easier for them to make pastry. The couple invested in a new computer which would help them with their involvement in the Torquay Football Club and other outreach endeavours.

The football club had been going bankrupt, but the result of Paul and Thea’s financial investment enabled the club to continue operating. Thea also took driving lessons and bought herself a Ford Kia convertible. Thea and Paul were part of the Scouts and, in an effort to give back, they planned a trip to Canada with 56 scouts, 30 parents and helpers and generously footed the bill of £500 000 for the trip. Tragically, Paul passes away from Diabetes just 6 years after the big win, and Thea and her son therefore took over directorship of the Torquay Football Club in order to ensure its continued success.

Across the world in Getra, Nabraska, David and Erica Harrig’s lives changed when they won $61.45 million in December 2013. David chose his 5 numbers based on his birthday – a fun combination that forever changed his life. It took David and Erica a few days to come to terms with the fact that they had won, and enlisted Erica’s colleague to check the Powerball results to confirm that it was true. David and Erica instantly went from spending their days worrying about how to put food on the table to being concerned about how to spend their winnings in such a way that they would leave a legacy for their children. 

The couple sought the council of several lawyers and financial advisors to ensure that they did not misuse their winnings.  After working for 16 years at their respective companies, David and Erica made the decision to retire and invest their time giving back to the community. In addition, David bought himself a red Corvette and Erica renovated their home to include a front porch and a swimming pool. When David’s mom heard about the lottery win, she asked for a record player. David and Erica worked hard to ensure that their family’s basic needs were met and that their lives were more comfortable, but investments and wisdom have ensured that the couple do not need to work another day in their lives.

Money is a powerful tool in the right hands, and invested, saved or even spent in the right way can lead to immense wealth. Playing the lottery and winning is one thing, but using those winnings to enhance your life and the life of others is generously another. Which will you choose when your big day arrives?

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Black Friday – the good, the bad and the ugly

Today “Black Friday” is a commercial shopping holiday in which consumers main purpose is to snap-up the best deals for their festive season shopping. Originating in the USA, and spreading to Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the rest of Europe and more recently the Southern Hemisphere countries of Australia and South Africa, there are some good, bad and just plain ugly stories about the history of this notorious day.

In 1941 the United States Congress stipulated that Thanksgiving will officially fall on the 4th Thursday in November. In later years, and as far back as 1952, many non-retail companies and schools were seen to take the following Friday off, creating a long weekend signaling the start of the festive season.

In Philadelphia, in the 1950’s a yearly Army vs Navy football game held every Saturday after Thanksgiving saw floods of tourists and shoppers descend on the city on the Friday in preparation for the game the following day. This soon became a nightmare for retailers as shoplifters often took advantage of the chaos while police and law enforcement worked extra-long shifts dealing with raucous crowds and traffic congestion, thus dubbing the day ‘Black Friday”.

Years later, as the phrase became wider spread, it was said that “Black Friday” was the day in which retailers would see the red, negative cash-flow, change to black, positive cash-flow. As late as the 1980’s with this, more positive spin on “Black Friday”, retailers began offering impressive sales to attract more consumers on this particular day.

As it grew in popularity “Black Friday” became the “not-to-be-missed” sale of the year, often with horror stories of people being trampled (to death) in stores and fighting over merchandise. To curb this, retailers extended their trading hours but unfortunately this just lead to consumers lining up, some even before their Thanksgiving meals had digested, to ensure that they were first in line for the store opening, in order to secure the much-desired merchandise.

Most recently, retailers aiming to reduce the sales madness or at least curb the hysteria, have opted for extended sales days often including the week before or the entire month of November. Many also offering consumers online or application based shopping solutions.

Other than the retail phenomena that has become “Black Friday” as we know it, there are some other slightly darker histories behind the term “Black Friday”.

The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied to a financial crisis when on September 24th, 1869 saw the crash of the U.S. gold market and the conspiracy involving ruthless Wall Street financiers was unravelled, plummeting the stock market and bankrupting many wealthy tycoons, farmers and retirees.

In recent years a myth has cropped up, which most likely stems from an anti-consumerism movement, claiming that in the 1800s on the Southern US plantations, owners could purchase slaves at a discount on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

On this “Black Friday”, the Lottery Network is running a cyber sale on Lottery Tickets. Be sure to log in and, purchase your tickets.  Who knows, it may be your turn to hit the Jackpot and never have to go to another sale in your life.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Little Known Lottery Facts

The lottery has existed for hundreds of years and fascinated players around the world. The lure of winning the jackpot is almost impossible to resist, resulting in millions of players worldwide buying tickets in the hope that their dreams will come true. Hundreds of lottery options being played by a vast number of hopefuls around the globe has resulted in some fascinating lottery facts…

In the United Kingdom, the National Lottery has been played for over 20 years.

In that time, it has paid out a phenomenal £53 Billion in winnings, making just over 3,600 millionaires.

The most unusual things winners have bought with their winnings?
A fireworks company, a narrowboat, and tarantulas.

A growing trend in lottery winners is the purchasing of new cars, with the average lottery winner buying 4.5 new cars for their family and friends.

One family from Tipton did not need to buy cars for each other – they merely needed to divide up their winnings of £3.25 million after beating the unthinkable odds of 350 billion to one by winning three separate jackpots. The family from Tipton wisely claimed their prize, whereas one unlucky player missed out on a jackpot of £63,837,543.60 – the largest unclaimed prize from the EuroMillions.

The National Lottery has been aired every week, with the exception of three occasions which called for utmost respect, namely the passing of Princess Diana of Wales, the passing of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, as well as the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Finally, the most drawn Lotto ball is 38, having appeared 314 times since the beginning of the National Lottery, with Lotto ball 13 being the least drawn since 1994.

The United States of America boasts similar lottery facts, with the biggest unclaimed prize being $63 million in 2016 - the forfeited prize was donated to a number of schools in California instead.

The largest jackpot win was $1.5 billion split between three players in 2012, resulting in them each walking away with $590.5 million.

In 2014, a record $70 billion was spent on lottery tickets by players around the country, with only 44 states taking part in the lottery.

Players have the option of purchasing their tickets from over 240 000 different locations around the country – the largest number worldwide.

The odds of winning the lottery increased substantially in 2016 where only one in 292 million players stand the chance of hitting it big.

In spite of those odds, the National Lottery has produced over 3000 millionaires, most of whom have spent their winnings on purchasing new homes or renovating their current homes.

The second biggest way in which winners spend their winnings? Investments for the future – a truly wise way to provide security for family and friends in the long run.

While the odds may seem impossible, the numbers speak for themselves – winning the lottery is not a distant dream. In fact, the chances of the jackpot values increasing and winners experiencing a new reality is only a lottery ticket away.

Lottery facts may come and go, but one thing remains – winners are a reality, and you may just be next.

Play the lottery now for your chance to win. Visit to play lotteries from all around the world.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Grand Winnings for Humble Winners

Winning the lottery is a life changing event, and even the humblest of people cannot escape the rush of a grand prize! Many set their sights on buying a new house while others dream about never working another day in their lives. Does winning the lottery truly change a lifestyle and who a person is?

Eliseo Guitierrez – a 58 year old man from Sacramento – had his world completely changed after purchasing a lottery ticket at a Chevron service station. Gutierrez selected 6 numbers, 5 of which matched the draw numbers resulting in a phenomenal win of more than $900 000. While draw took place on 16 June 2017, unsuspecting Gutierrez walked around with his winning ticket for 79 days before realising he had won anything. He claimed his prize in September 2017, and his life has never been the same since. So just what did Eliseo Guitierrez and his wife decide to do with their grand prize? “We’re planning to get our own place!” He will continue to work in manufacturing, and enjoy living a slightly more comfortable life thanks to his life-changing win.

In 2008, Eric and Sue Tarry won £7.6million in a Lotto draw. The couple were based in Fakenham, Norfolk, and had been running a car repairs garage and working from home for as long as they could remember. They had faithfully been playing the lotto for over 14 years when their luck changed one fateful Saturday night. The couple reported that it took them a long time to come to terms with not only having won the lottery, but also how much they had won. Their first priority after winning? To take care of their family, which included five children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. In addition, they planned on completing renovations to their home, as well as taking their very first holiday in over 24 years. While the Tarry’s could well have retired comfortably, they chose to continue running their business, believing that it was their life’s work and was an integral part of who they were.

A similar response came from 68 year old Joe Mendoza, who won $500 000 after playing in the Michigan lottery. Mendoza lived in Sanilac County, and playing the lottery was merely a way of life. After scratching his Lucky 7’s Tripler ticket, he checked his ticket three times before running over to his wife in absolute disbelief. When she didn’t believe it either, they called their daughter-in-law and asked her to verify the win with the lottery as they were so nervous. Joe Mendoza reported that he wasn’t sure how he would spend his winnings – although a bigger TV and saving a lump sum for future investments were definitely on the cards!

While there is no right or wrong when it comes to spending lottery winnings, a little spoiling combined with a little investing seems to be a winning combination. As for the change of heart, that depends on the winner. Money may change a person, but in these inspiring stories, it was definitely a change for the better!

Play the lottery now for your chance to win. Visit to play lotteries from all around the world.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Teen Wins Twice in One Week

I seem to be stumbling across a fair amount of stories about people who have won the lotto twice or, like a man in Detroit, even three times. I almost feel I should call them to see what they are doing that we are not. Maybe buying a ticket or scratch card would be a good start?

This lucky winner was just 19 when she won the lotto twice in a mere week! If you are suddenly reliving fantasies of your 19 year old self in her shoes, I don’t blame you. Rosa Dominguez was driving home from Arizona when she decided to buy a few scratch cards from a gas station in Paso Robles. One of these, a $5 Power 5’s, was her ticket to the life changing sum of $555 555. “I was so nervous I just wanted to cry,” she said. And who could blame her, I’d cry. I’d probably sit on the floor and sob my heart out.

As if that wasn’t enough, a few days later whilst stopped at a gas station in Monterey County, she tossed caution to the wind and decided to try her luck with a $5 Lucky Fortune Scratcher. Lo and behold, the ticket turned out to be worth the top prize of $100 000 and topped up Dominguez total winnings to a whopping $655 555. A fair sum for someone of her age to be handling, she collected her winnings from the California Lottery East Bay District Office in Hayward, near San Francisco. And what will this newly wealthy teen be doing with her winnings? Apparently go shopping and buy herself a new car.
Let’s hope she had the sense to invest the rest and secure a good nest egg for her future.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017


The 27th of October will see the last MegaMillions Lottery Draw in the current format, and the 31st of October will see the first draw with the new format.

But what does this mean for you?
  • Bigger Jackpots
  • Better Odds
  • Additional Payouts
  • More Mega Balls
  • Increased Price
  • More Options
  • More Millionaires 
This means that the MegaMillions will now rival the Powerball in its race to offer the world record for the ‘biggest jackpot’.

The changes in detail:

The minimum jackpot will increase from US $15 Million to US $40 Million

The odds of winning a second tier prize will increase from 1 in 18 Million to 1 in 12 Million

Third tier prizes will double from US $5,000 to US $10,000 these increases will also be seen in tier five to nine.

Whereas the current number of Mega Balls is 12, the new game will have 25. Thus updating the board so that players can select 5 numbers from 1-70 and 1 number from 1-25.

The base cost of a new MegaMillions ticket will be double that of the old tickets.

A ‘Just the Jackpot’ option will be included as an option alongside the MegaMillions game. Players will, for a slightly discounted rate for two plays be able to play only for the Jackpot and will not be able to collect winnings based on lower number tiers.

The abovementioned changes will bring about more winners and therefore result in more millionaires. The charities that benefit from the MegaMillions Lottery will also receive increased funding as a result of the changes which will come into effect at the end of October.

Prior to updates done to the Powerball Lottery to increase its Jackpots and Winners, the MegaMillions Lottery held the world record for the biggest pay out of US $656 Million awarded to three lucky ticket holders back in 2012. (See the full story here).

This world record was held for four years before the Powerball Jackpot rolled over to a whopping US $1.6 Billion, this jackpot too was won by three lucky ticket holders (read their story here), changing the face and expectations of lottery jackpots for ever!

With the latest changes to the MegaMillions Lottery we will likely see not only more millionaires created but even more billionaires!

Be sure to purchase your MegaMillions lottery ticket for the 31st October draw for your chance to win bigger Jackpots and make your dreams come true. 

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Many people only dream of winning the lottery once, but twice? Is this even possible? It absolutely is and has in fact happened. The odds of 283 billion to 1 didn't seem so out there for a Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire couple, David and Kathleen Long, who won the £1 million jackpots in the EuroMillions twice, first in 2013 and then in 2015.

In 2013, David Long, who was then working as a HGV driver for a local transport business in Scunthorpe, nearly missed out on the big win altogether. He thought he had won just £2.70 and threw the ticket in the bin not bothering to claim the winnings. At the last moment he decided to take the ticket out with him as he needed a newspaper. "I had to fish the ticket out of the bin and when I got to the shop I was surprised to find that it was worth a so much more."

David says that the win was incredibly fantastic and couldn't have come at a better time, he said that times had been really tough and that he had been really ill for three years, unable to work leading up to it. David said that he lasted three days at work and then took early retirement. The next few months that followed were amazing, allowing them to get married after a 12 year long engagement. They had changed very little in their lives, still living in their static caravan in Scunthorpe. Rather than purchase a new home for themselves they decided to purchase a new home for Mr Long's mother.

David however, did not settle for one win, he believed and even told everyone that he will win again, he was convinced. Somehow with such very slim odds, he did.

In 2015, on a Friday night he was passing the local shop and saw there were 10, £1 million prizes on EuroMillions and a luxury vehicle and thought why not buy a ticket. He decided to take five tickets with his usual numbers.

On the Saturday morning he checked the raffle codes after a few moments he very calmly called Kath in and said 'Have a look at this. Read that line'."

Mr Long said his wife checked the television and went online to confirm the numbers. She was shocked and said to him, "Well you did say that you were going to win again!" They were very lucky to also win a luxury car.

After they married they did not go on a honeymoon as David isn't a fan of travelling, but he admitted that it would be wonderful to go on a cruise as a belated honeymoon.

David and Kathleen have also generously donated to the Lindsey Lodge Hospice and have decided to move out of their bungalow and into a mansion.

Why not increase your chances of winning the jackpot at least once.
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Wednesday, October 04, 2017


Timing is everything in life and can be life altering. Too soon and you miss an opportunity, too late and you can miss that very same opportunity. A warehouse worker from Bradley Stoke, in Bristol almost lost a life changing win, but he managed to avoid it in the nick of time. James Wilson, 28, was clearing out an old wallet when he came across on old, Euromillions ticket from a draw on March 28, 2014. He realised that he had not checked the numbers on the ticket so he decided to check the ticket and realised that he matched all 5 numbers in the draw. As luck would have it, he found this ticket one day before it expired. His timing couldn't have been any better.

He said that he contacted National Lottery immediately once he realised that his numbers matched and that he only had one day left to claim, but the offices were closed and he was forced to wait until the next day. He managed to reach someone the next morning, who, much to his relief, confirmed that he was still entitled to the winnings.

Coincidently, the National Lottery had been searching for his missing ticket for the 6 months that they were waiting for it to be claimed. They had been appealing to the local community to check their tickets to ensure that they weren't the winners in local newspapers.

Interesting Fact

All National Lottery players have 180 days to come forward and claim their prize from the day of the draw. After 2 weeks from any draw, for all claims over £50000 that are unclaimed, the national Lottery appeal to the public in the area in which the ticket was purchased. After the 180 day deadline the prize and any interest earned goes to the National Lottery Projects.

James mentioned that he was recently married and was living with his wife in his parents' home, but the winnings of £51,232.90 would really help the couple by giving them the opportunity to place a deposit down on their own home. He says that the discovery couldn't have come at a better time for him and his new wife. They saved money for their wedding but didn't have enough left for a house. He also wants to spoil his wife with a new car and get himself back into bike racing again.

Winning any amount in a lottery can really change your life. Go to ensure that you have a chance to win.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Lotto Tragedy Strikes

Lotto Tragedy Strikes

They say that money doesn't bring happiness and there are a fair few lotto winners who'd tell this tale. It's an interesting fact that many lotto winners do not end up happier but rather end up in a bit of a pickle after blowing through most of their lucky fortune.

If you come from very little and suddenly find yourself a multi-millionaire, it is bound to lead to frivolous spending and mismanagement as the majority of us don't have the know-how to handle such a large amount of money.

One such unlucky man was Billie Bob Harrell Jr.

Harrell was an ordinary, quiet boy from Houston, Texas. He didn't have much interest in extracurricular activities, even in school, preferring to spend his time with family and in church. "Billie Bob's family was always his life," says his sister, Sharon Muldine .

He grew up to marry and have three children, but life was not that kind to him and after being laid off from a few jobs he was working a low paying job stocking the electrical-supply shelves of a Home Depot. His wife was forced to rejoin the workforce and also found herself in a low paying position. The Harrell's were having a hard time providing for themselves, let alone their three teenage children. Every Wednesday and Saturday, Billie Bob would scrape together some dollars and buy a couple of lottery tickets in the hopes of improving his family's lot.

One warm evening in June 1997, the lotto balls did their usual dance but despite having bought a ticket earlier, Billie Bob had not tuned in. At work the following day, his colleagues were all buzzing about the winning ticket, worth a whopping $31 million, which had been purchased in their very own town of Kingwood. That evening, Billie Bob got home and grabbed the Sunday paper, sitting in his favourite chair he took out his ticket and compared the numbers. He sat in shock, then called his son, Billie Bob III, over to check that he had read correctly. And indeed he had. Billie Bob had won $31 million and the family's fortune had changed at last!

It was with an entourage of his family, friends, and minister that he went to collect his first annual check of $1.24million.

For a while, life was everything the Harrell's could've dreamed of but unfortunately, it was the beginning of a horrible demise for the 47-year-old Billie Bob. It started with him quitting his job and taking his family to Hawaii. He then bought cars and houses for some friends and family and, being deeply religious, donated a fair amount to his church. He even donated 480 turkeys to the poor.

All his lavish and overly generous spending obviously attracted attention and he was hounded for donations, having to change his number a few times after being called by strangers! However, he enjoyed his role and as his spending and lending spiraled out of control, so his marriage started to suffer. In February the couple split leaving Billie Bob devastated and desperate. On 22 May 1999, 20 months after his jackpot win, Billie Bob stripped himself naked, pushed a shotgun against his chest and pulled the trigger.

Shortly before his death, Billie Bob told his financial advisor, "Winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me."

And even more sad than poor Billie Bob's fate - a family feud revolving around his suicide left a deep chasm between children and grandparents, all whilst a family war loomed over the remnants of his fortune, which could probably barely have paid his estate taxes.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Winning Again and Again and Again…

Winning the lottery is one thing, but winning the lottery a few times over is the stuff only dreams are made of. This was the reality for Stefan Mandel – the Romanian mathematician who won the lottery not once, not twice, but 14 times over.

Stefan Mandel was born in Romania, and dedicated his life to mathematics. At the time, the subject was not highly valued and as a result, Stefan pursued Architecture at university. When things didn't work out, he felt confused about what he should do with his life and sought the counsel of his parents. Their question to him? "What is the thing you feel most comfortable doing?". The answer was clear to Stefan – mathematics. Everything about it just made sense to him. Stefan enrolled at the University of Bucharest and completed his studies in mathematics. Along the way, Stefan realised that mathematics was a highly disliked subject among society, and made it his mission to change people's attitude about mathematics through teaching, blogging and seminars.

Another thing Stefan realised is that he could work out a way in which to win lotteries using combinations of numbers. In an interview with Alex Goldmark, he shared that this journey started in the 1950s where he played the Romanian lottery. He did a lot of research and planning, and came up with a formula for buying blocks of tickets that would guarantee him a winning prize. Stefan looked at the number of possible combinations that would be available to him, for example, in one lottery where players choose 6 numbers out of 59, there would be 45 million different combinations. Stefan would do this for each lottery he played, and would work together with his syndicate to purchase every possible combination for that lottery. An expensive venture indeed, but when you win over 13 lotteries, it is a venture you can afford!

In 1992, after being outlawed in Australia, Stefan looked elsewhere in the world to see where he could win another lottery. He came across the Virginia lottery, which had 7.1 million combinations. Stefan calculated that he would need to wait for the jackpot to reach over $25 million if he were to make a profit after winning, as his outlay in purchasing all of the tickets and sharing the payout with other players would be too high. The process took 3 months, during which time all 7.1 million tickets were printed and shipped to America. Stefan shared that he was not surprised when he won as he was confident that his operation had secured him the jackpot. This was Stefan's 14th and final lottery win – a total of $27 million.

While many have aspired to replicate Stefan's strategy, experts say it simply cannot be done anymore. Not only would printing all of the tickets be a logistical impossibility, but the number of combinations and likelihood of sharing the winnings with others is too greater. Stefan Mandel remains one of a kind – a 14-time lottery winner whose legacy will be the envy of players around the world for many years to come.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jack Whittaker

Andrew Jackson Whittaker, Jr. also known as Jack Whittaker, has become one of the best-known lottery winning stories. Sadly the story of Jack Whittaker isn't a very positive one, although he was fortunate to make the list of jackpot winners.

On Christmas day in December 2002 he won $314.9 million (the largest jackpot ever won at the time by a single winning ticket) and at the time, he was also known as the wealthiest man to ever win the lottery.

The 55 year old West Virginia construction Diversified Construction Company President, who was already worth over $17 million, decided to purchase a ticket whilst stopping at the Hurricane supermarket in West Virginia to buy a sandwich and get fuel for his vehicle. The winnings for his ticket were either $314.9 million annuity or $170.5 million cash. Whittaker chose the cash option, which was $113 million. Jack was very generous with his winnings as he donated 10% of his fortune to Christian charities and donated $14 million to establish his own foundation (a foundation that gives clothing and food to poor families in the Rural West Virginia), the Jack Whittaker Foundation and even gave a $123, 000 house, a truck and $44,000 cash to the woman who worked at the convenience store where he purchased his winning ticket.

Sadly, the saying "the root of all evil is money", isn't too far off in Jacks case. After winning the jackpot, his personal problems and legal challenges got the better of him and he started drinking heavily, frequently visiting strip clubs.

On the 5th of August 2003, nearly a year after he won the jackpot, thieves broke into his car and stole $545,000 whilst he was visiting a West Virginia strip club. In January in 2004, his car was once again broken into and thieves stole another $200,000, but this was later recovered. In 2004 his granddaughter's boyfriend died of an overdose and a few months later his granddaughter was found dead, wrapped in plastic and dumped behind an old van.

Jack turned to alcohol and gambling and was sued by the Caesars Atlantic City casino for bouncing $1.5 million worth of cheques to cover gambling losses.
In July 2009, Ginger Whittaker Bragg, Jacks 42 year old daughter was found dead in Daniels in West Virginia, no foul play was suspected. Jack, in these dark moments of his life, blames the fact that he won the jackpot for all his misfortune in his life. He stated to reporters at the time of his daughter's death that he wished he had torn the ticket up.

On 2 December 2016, almost 14 years after winning the jackpot, Jacks home in Bland County, Virginia burnt to the ground. Fortunately, although his wife was home, no one was injured. Sadly, Whittaker stated that the house was not insured.

It takes good preparation when winning a jackpot, follow our tips on our blog "what to do when you win the lottery".

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Double or Nothing

We all dream of winning the lotto jackpot, or even just a few hundred thousand. But imagine winning twice! One lucky man in South Africa did just that.

We expect a rag to riches story in most cases but in this case the twice lucky winner of the South African Lottery was a successful businessman from Limpopo Province. The 34-year-old, who has chosen to remain anonymous, won his first jackpot of R11 million in 2002. A mere seven years later, in 2009, he went on to win a whopping R30 million in the Powerball’s inaugural jackpot prize.
The odds of the same person winning both lotteries are positively galactic, but somehow he did just that. Statistics show that he beat odds of 14 million to one to scoop his first jackpot prize, and a whopping 24 million to one to claim the second. However, he is not the record holder, that title goes to a man from Idaho, USA, who has won the lottery three times!

Despite these two big wins, the 34-year-old seems to have kept his wits about him and remains startlingly humble. After winning the first time he stated that he only spent about R100 per month on lotto tickets. Upon winning the second time, a larger R30 million, he politely declined the offer for a car to pick him up, preferring to drive himself to the Gidani offices in Midrand to claim his prize. Perhaps because of his background in business, this lucky man is still riding on the success of his two lotto wins and has said that he knows how precarious his situation is; the temptation to spend the vast amounts of money and announce to the world that you’ve made it big is positively overwhelming.

With his first win, he chose to use the money to stabilize his business and secure his assets. Upon winning a second time, he remained as level-headed as ever and stated that he would like to invest a large portion into the future of his four children and then venture into property development, which had shown to be a consistently strong sector. With the property development, he hopes to simultaneously be able to address the plight of the many homeless people in our South Africa. And whilst the details remain unclear, one thing is certain, this man and his children surely have a successful and bright future in store. 

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Thursday, September 07, 2017

Aspiring Billionaire Wins Lottery

Most tales of winning the lotto end in the winner frivolously spending their winnings and ending up right where they started. Either that or the famous curse of the lotto where big jackpot winners seem to meet a rather untimely end, although I’m sure their ends are not as accidental as they seem. One man has neither frittered his winnings away nor met any Final Destination like end; meet Brad Duke.
Brad was a regular guy.

He had bought a house, had a good job as manager of Gold Gym’s fitness centre in The Treasure Valley, Idaho and cycled every Saturday morning. On the 28th of May, a Saturday like every other, he stopped at Jackson’s Food Mart on the way to a race to buy fuel for his car and himself.  He also decided to play Powerball using his “winning” numbers; a while back Brad had developed a number structure by analysing popular lotto numbers which he then formed into a pattern and played every week for four years, these “hot” numbers were 5, 7, 24, 28, 29 and 36.

That Saturday he went on, rode a good race, had drinks with some friends and then went on home. An ordinary day like every other before it, the Powerball ticket already forgotten. It was only when a friend mentioned that someone in the area had won the jackpot but had not come forward to claim their prize that he remembered. When he stopped for fuel again he asked that his ticket be put through the machine. He had won. A dead giveaway by the way the girls in the store screamed hysterically, telling him he’d won, he’d actually won! As most would be, he was in a state of shock but carefully took his ticket and walked to his truck where he just sat. To this day he still can’t remember whether or not he actually paid for his fuel! The first person he called, from his truck, was his dad. He then waited over two weeks before coming forward to claim his prize. During this time, the business savvy man put together a team of advisers including a lawyer, a financial adviser and a publicist; a wise choice for anyone winning a whopping $220 million.

See more Powerball winners stories here.

What captured our eye about this story though was not the amount or the fact that he is still riding on the success of his win, but that upon winning, he had boldly stated that his goal was to turn the winnings into $1 billion in 15 years. Quite a goal if you ask us.

Brad decided to take the full amount instead of being paid out monthly, this meant he received a check for $126 million and after tax, was left with $86 million, considerably less than the actual jackpot but still an amount I’d be happy to pocket.  One thing Brad knew was that he didn’t want to end up like so many other winners who had lost their entire fortune by squandering it. So what did he actually do with his winnings? Well he started off in the most logical manner. He paid off his mortgage and student loan, bought a used VW Jetta, made an annual gift of $12 000 to all his family members, splurged a little by going to Tahiti with 17 of his friends, oh and of course he bought some new bicycles. He then cleverly invested the rest and continued working. However, two and a half years later he quit his job as he was tired of being hounded by people and managing his new wealth was taking up a fair amount of his time.

So where is Brad Duke now? Well, a little behind on his goal apparently but still managing to increase his wealth exponentially. If he does eventually succeed, no matter how late, we have to acknowledge that he has mastered a secret known to the rich: delayed gratification.
And if you’re wondering, he has spent many dollars on charity. Not only a smart, wealthy man but also one with a big heart. 

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lottery Horror Story

Winning the lottery is a dream of so many people. Most people endeavour to do good when winning the large lump sum of money, promising to donate to charities and to help those less fortunate. Sadly, this can potentially place the person in a situation that could cost them their lives. Sadly this is the story of a Florida man, Abraham Shakespeare, who won the jackpot and was declared missing a few years later and then eventually found murdered. The story of Abraham is a true Lottery Horror Story.

Abraham Shakespeare
Abraham Shakespeare, a 47 year old casual labourer from Frostproof Florida, won the $30million lottery in 2009. He had a big heart and couldn’t say no to those that asked him for money, allowing homeless people to live in his home. Sadly his kindness was his downfall that lead to him eventually  being murdered by Dorice “DeeDee” Moore.

Abraham Shakespeare purchased the winning ticket on the 15th of November 2006 at a Townstar convenience store when he and his co-worker stopped to buy cigarettes and drinks. His co-worker was the one that purchased the winning tickets on behalf of Abraham after he asked Abraham what he wanted and Abraham asked him to purchase him 2 tickets. This unfortunately resulted in a court case where his disgruntled co-worker, who demanded a share in the money, attempted to accuse him of stealing his tickets in order to lay claim on the winnings. Abraham opted to take the lump sum payment of the winnings of $17million, which remained his after the court stated that his co-workers story wasn’t believable and that the money belonged to Shakespeare.

Abraham Shakespeare wins the Lottery

Sadly, due to his kindness, Abraham was pestered by strangers and hangers-on constantly and confided in his brother telling him he was better off before winning the jackpot. One of these people was DeeDee, who he started a business with her called Abraham Shakespeare LLC, giving her full control of the firm’s finances. She subsequently spent $1million on personal purchases including a vacation.

On the 9th of November 2009, Shakespeare’s family reported him missing, stating that they had not seen him since April 2009. A tip off led the investigators to the backyard of a property owned by Abraham. They soon found his body buried under a slab of concrete, with two gunshot wounds to the chest.

On December 10, 2012 DeeDee Moore was found guilty of first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. DeeDee attempted to keep the $1million home of Abraham that she claimed was sold to her, but the court ruled against this as there is no proof of the sale of the house to her.

DeeDee Moore and Abraham Shakespeare
You can ensure that should you be lucky enough to win the jackpot you are well prepared by reading our story on “what to do when winning the lottery” and therefore do not fall on bad luck.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

What to do when you win the lottery

There are many stories out there on the various lottery jackpot winners, who they are, where they are from, where they purchased their winning tickets and what they ended up doing with their winnings. It is really wonderful reading all these positive stories on how these winnings change people’s live and how they can change other people’s lives. Unfortunately up to 70% of jackpot winners blow their winnings not long after winning and end up in a worse position than before winning the lottery, mainly because they are not prepared and have no idea how to manage winning such a large sum of money.

There are some really good pointers on where to start should you become a winner, below is a list of the top 10:

  • Confirm the numbers, place the ticket in a safe place and breathe.

Get a print out of the numbers to confirm your numbers. Make a paper copy and photographic copy of your ticket and then invest in a safe to store the original ticket in a place that is safe and out of reach of anyone.

Once this is done, stop and breathe, this is a major change in your life and impulse will not work for you, you need to take the time to think through what it is your next steps will be. 
  • Don’t make drastic changes to your life initially – like major purchases or quitting your job.
This is important for various reasons, but it is very important to confirm your winnings before executing the resignation of your dreams and buying that longed after Ferrari.
  •  Keep your winnings quiet, the less people you tell the better.

 The minute people get wind of your new wealth; they will start putting out their hands for a slice of the pie, your pie. You may not be emotionally prepared for influx of various people asking for handouts and crack under the pressure, or you may even risk your safety by letting too many people know. 
  • Seek professional guidance from an accountant and a lawyer.

There are many things to consider when winning this money, such as tax implications. Ensure that you have a team to consult before claiming your winning so that they can advise you where to place your money and how to protect it.
  • Decide what payment you will take – lump sum or instalments.

There are various pros and cons to both options. Should you take the lump sum and have a great financial advisor, you could make more of the money than if you took it in instalments. Taking instalments ensures longevity of the winnings.
  • Settle all your debts first before spending money on anything else.

Make sure you debt free before splurging – as before you know it, you may have spent all your money and still be stuck with your old debts.
  • Seek advice on investing your money once all your debts are paid off.

If done wisely you could be in great standing in the future and your winnings could grow immensely.

  • Draw up a sound budget.

Once your debts are paid off and you have investments lined up, draw up a budget stating what take precedence in your wish list. Writing things down allows you time and clarity to ensure that nothing is forgotten.
  • Plan donations to charities.

This is a desire of many and is great, but must not be at the top of the list.  There are many needy causes out there that will pull at your heart strings.
  • Ensure that all your personal details are not public to avoid being pestered by opportunists.

Remain private at all times. People will not hesitate to pester you even at your personal home. This will then no longer be annoyance but a matter of safety.

Play lotteries around the world at to give yourself a better chance of winning the jackpot to change your life forever. With these tips you will have a great chance of success when winning this large sum of money.

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