Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Big Win That Made a Big Difference

The lottery has been played by millions of Americans for decades, and every winner – big or small – has their own story to share. Some are tragic, some are funny and some are truly inspiring. The story behind one of America's biggest winners is heart-warming to say the least.
New York born Sheelah Ryan lived a humble life in a small trailer park in Winter Springs. Her two adoring cats for companions, she spent her days working hard as a real estate agent. Although not much is known about a husband or children, Sheelah was surrounded by nephews and nieces who cherished her dearly.
On 3 September 1988, Sheelah Ryan became America's largest individual lottery winner to date after playing the Florida Lottery. Sheelah was a regular lottery player and was stunned after discovering she had won $55.2 million in an instant! That year, the Florida Lottery had claimed no winners for several weeks, resulting in the substantial jackpot. Her life was forever changed, yet keeping her winnings for herself never appeared to be on her agenda. Sheelah reportedly believed that God allowed her to win, not to hoard but to use to change the lives of others….
And that she did! In spite of receiving global attention encouraging her to invest, donate or spend her winnings, Sheelah strove to remain out of the public eye and rather give the money away to those in need. Sheelah received marriage proposals from suitors all over the world, which she respectfully declined and instead pursued her life of humility and service. Agreeing to only 3 interviews on top news channels, Sheelah remained adamant that her winnings were not her own.

In December 1988 – a short 3 months after her win – Sheelah set up the Ryan Foundation. The foundation operates as a non-operating foundation that seeks to provide grants and funding to organisations who serve those less fortunate and the marginalised. Her founding statement and aim?
“We will make a difference!”
The foundation has assisted a variety of causes since its inception, including providing care for stray cats, funding medical procedures for children in need of operations, upliftment of the homeless and support for single mothers who battle to make ends meet.
Sheelah was due to receive her payout over 20 years when she tragically passed away from cancer a mere 6 years after her win at the age of 69. Sheelah had received $16.6 million, and the remainder went directly to her estate. Those overseeing the Ryan Foundation have ensured that Sheelah's dream of making a difference continues unhindered. Several of her nephews and nieces serve on the board, seeing to it that their beloved aunt's memory lives on.

Sheelah Ryan provides an incredible example that money does not need to change the core of who someone is; instead it can be used to better the lives of those who really need a miracle. Playing the lottery provided Sheelah with the greatest an opportunity to live out her dream – making a difference in the lives of others. May her memory and compassion be a source of great inspiration for years to come!
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The South African Lottery

Most countries around the world have their own lotteries, some only available to the locals and some available to international players, some as old as the Dutch lottery the Staatsloterij that dates back to 1726 (read more about the Staatsloterij ,“The oldest lottery that exists today”) and some as new as the South African Lottery.

The South African Lottery was established by Uthingo on 11 March 2000. There were over 800,000 tickets sold on the first day of ticket sales. Only South African Citizens are allowed to play the national lottery. In 2003 the LOTTO Plus game was launched to supplement the weekly lottery. Over the next few years the Lottery changed hands between various operators, and was even suspended briefly in 2007, however in 2015 the operating licence was finally awarded to Ithuba.

There are 7 games that run under the South African National Lottery.
The LOTTO is run every Wednesday and Saturday at 21:00 (Local Time – GMT +2). A ticket offers a player a choice of 6 numbers between 1 to 49 numbers, this can be done manually or as a ‘quick pick’ which is a computer generated selection. A set of 49 balls are used for the draw, and six balls are drawn with the addition of a bonus ball. Prizes are won when at least 3 numbers are matched. The current entry fee for the draw is R5.00 per board.

The LOTTO PLUS is an extra opportunity for a player to win; it is exactly the same as the LOTTO but costs the player an additional R2.50 per board. The LOTTO PLUS is drawn on the same days as the LOTTO at the same time.
The odds of winning the LOTTO and LOTTO PLUS:
Numbers Matching
3 and Bonus
4 and Bonus
5 and Bonus

The POWERBALL draw takes place every Tuesday and Friday 21:00 (local Time – GMT +2). The player gets to pick 5 numbers from a selection of 1 to 45 and an additional “PowerBall” number from a selection of 1 to 20. The entry fee is R5 per board. The record prize for a POWERBALL draw recorded was R102,016,595.

As with the LOTTO and the LOTTO PLUS, the POWERBALL PLUS is the same. The cost is R2.50 per board and offers the player an additional chance to win. The POWERBALL PLUS was introduced by the National Lottery in 2005.
The odds of winning the POWERBALL and POWERBALL PLUS:
Numbers Matching
1 ball and PowerBall
2 balls and PowerBall
3 balls
2 balls and PowerBall
4 balls
4 balls and PowerBall
1: 122,176
5 balls
5 balls and PowerBall

A player can play SPORTSTAKE 13 by predicting outcomes of 13 predetermined match fixtures drawn from specific professional soccer games.
For each game the player chooses their prediction by marking on the bet slip;
[1] –home win
[x] – draw
[2] –home loss (Away win)

A minimum price per wager per board is R2.00 and a maximum wager per bet slip is R2000.00 with each wager costing R2.00.
SPORTSTAKE 13 fixture results are considered as the final score after 90 minutes of play or after extra time where applicable, however excludes penalty shoot-out.

The National Lottery also offers instant win digital scratch cards. These cards are called EAZiWIN and ranges from R3 to R5 per card.

This is the National Lottery’s newest game and was Launched in 2016. It is a daily game with a minimal top prize.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Lottery – A Glimpse Through Time

For centuries, people around the world have been playing the national lottery. Today, there are thousands of opportunities for millions of players worldwide to take part in one of the biggest industries globally, but it hasn’t always been this way. Today’s winners stand on the back of millions of people who have gone before them, and transformed this game of chance into what it is now.

The first recordings of a lottery date back to the Chinese Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 BC, where the money was used to help build the Great Wall of China. There is a reference to the drawing of lots in the Chinese “Book of Songs” which indicates that games of luck began with the earliest developments of mankind. Move ahead a little in time, and evidence shows that Roman Empire used the lottery as a source of amusement at dinner parties. Some records suggest that lottery tickets were put up for sale during the reign of Augustus Caesar, who used all money generated from those sales to rebuild the city of Rome. Every citizen who purchased a ticket was guaranteed to win something – a very different scenario to today!

More is known about the lottery and its development from the 15th century onwards. Many towns used lotteries to generate funds that would fortify their towns and villages, and give aid to the poorest living amongst them. Lotteries were extremely popular and were seen as a form of taxation in which people would willingly participate as they knew they would win something in return. Across several towns, cities and countries, money generated from the lottery was used to better public services and facilities. The birth of our modern day lottery, however, happened in Genoa, where citizens would vote for council members twice a year, and would receive something if their council member’s name was picked. This was enjoyed so much by the public that they decided to switch to using numbers instead of names, and played this “guessing game” on a more regular basis and our national lotteries were officially born.

In the 1700s, lotteries in the United States were primarily used to finance ventures privately and publicly, including the building of churches and national roads. In 1740, money generated from lotteries were used to finance two of the most prestigious universities, namely the University of Princeton and the University of Columbia. During the Revolutionary War, funds from lotteries supported the Colonial Army, following which several states in the United States of America had to resort to using lotteries as their primary source of finance for public welfare and development. In the 1800s, the “game of numbers” became so popular that even the poorest of the poor were participating in the hope that they would receive even a small reward to offer some relief.

Through time, the popularity of this enticing game of chance has grown enormously. What started out as a picking of lots has transformed into a multi-billion-dollar game of numbers and chance, drawing interest from citizens around the world. While the winnings are bigger and the odds are greater, the satisfaction of winning has never changed, and will likely remain for many centuries to come. Today’s winners stand on the back of those gone before us who laid the perfect foundation for this unpredictable yet exhilarating game of chance.

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Friday, July 07, 2017

The Lottery – A Game for the Young at Heart

When you think of lottery winners, images of elderly men and women who have weathered the storms of life and come out on the other side may spring to mind. After all, you need to have both the wisdom and the wherewithal to beat the odds, right? Not according to recent wins. The average age of lottery players has decreased significantly over the last few years, as has the average age of winners. Here are a few of their stories…

Callie Rogers, was the youngest lottery winner in the United Kingdom’s history when she won €1.9 million at the age of 16 in 2003. 14 years later, Callie has only €2000 in savings, but believes she has never been happier. Callie feels she was too young to have won the lottery, and lacked the wisdom to know how to manage that amount of money. While life has thrown her some difficult cards since her astonishing win, she feels freer and happier than ever before.

Robert Salo from Brooklyn in the United States of America was only 18 years old when he won the New York lottery's “Win for Life ” game. By taking a chance with a $2 scratch card, he never imagined he would end up winning  $1000 every week for the rest of his life. Robert has chosen to put his winnings towards his studies – am investment that will definitely last a lifetime.

The luck of the Irish was certainly with 16-year-old Tracey Malik when she won $1.2 million in 1998. Working as a cashier at the time, bought her third ticket ever and assumed she had won a total of €10. After printing out a copy of the winning numbers for a customer, it dawned on her that her selected numbers were the winning ones. Upon calling in, she was instructed to sit down before she heard the truth about how much she had really won. Her first thoughts? “I will never have to work again!” Tracey is still working today, having put most of her winnings in investments – the best choice she believes she has ever made in her life.

Lottery organisers have respected the privacy of the 18-year-old winner who won $27 million in one of Great Britain’s most prestigious lotteries. In 2013, the young man from West Midlands became one of the richest teenagers in Great Britain overnight. All that is known about the youngster is that he flew for a $10 000 a night vacation shortly after winning big. Known to the public or not, this young man has certainly had his world utterly transformed, with his future looking starkly different from the one he had imagined.

Young or old, the lottery has something to offer everyone. While some may argue that playing the lottery and winning at such a young age has the potential to ruin someone’s value for hard work, when managed well and handled with wisdom, lottery winnings can set them up for financial freedom for life. It’s never too early or too late to start – you never know just what may happen!

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