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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