Nearly everyone has at least once in their life dreamt of winning the lottery, but only few among us will actually see it come true.
For Victor Amole, he literally had his dream become a reality when he won Virginia Lottery’s Cash 5 game in January.
The Woodbridge, Virginia man bought four tickets but instead of trying his luck with different numbers, he used the same set of numbers on each of the tickets. Why?
Apparently he had a dream in which the winning numbers, 3-10-17-26-32, were revealed to him. “I’ve never had a dream like that before,” Amole admitted.
Amole beat the 1 in 278, 256 odds when all four of his numbers hit the jackpot. Each ticket was worth $100,000 so he was awarded a total of $400,000 before taxes. The computer programmer, who is still reeling from his win, told Virginia Lottery that he plans to invest his winnings.
Winning the lottery with four tickets is almost unheard of, but what’s even more brow-raising is Amole’s claim that the numbers came to him in a dream. However, it turns out he isn’t the only one who was lucky enough to see winning lottery numbers in his dream.
There have been a few other instances in which winners allegedly saw the lucky numbers in their dreams, including a family from New Jersey.
A lot of couples have a weekly tradition of purchasing a lottery ticket and planning out what they would do with their millions. Obviously, most of us will never actually win, but it’s fun to dream. For Denise Robertson and her partner, Maurice Thibeault, winning the lottery has turned into an enormous legal battle and the end of their relationship.
Robertson has filed a lawsuit against her former common-law partner after claiming that he left their home and tried to claim the lottery winnings from the ticket they purchased together without her.
“Together we dreamed about winning the lotto,” she stated in the affidavit last October. “We both love muscle cars, we would each buy one and buy a large property in the country and build a large shop to work on our cars.”
The confusion started when they heard that one of the winning tickets for the lottery was sold in Chatham, the town where they live. Robertson asked her husband if he had purchased a ticket, and they talked about the potential. She said that he “made it clear” that the ticket was not a winner, and so nothing about it was said.
However, just days later Thibeault was gone. Robertson found out that he had quit his job, packed up all of his clothes and taken his passport with him. But why did he leave? Robertson discovered that he had bolted as soon as he realized he had won the lottery. But she wasn’t about to give up on her dream…
Most married couples like to think that they have won the lottery with their partners, and look forward every day to waking up and seeing them on the other side of the bed is the biggest prize that they could win.
That doesn’t stop them dreaming of making their lives better together. Whether it’s a make-over, a vacation, or a new home, we want to set goals with our spouses as something to work towards.
While for most people they remain as dreams, sometimes fate intervenes and people are handed what they have worked for their whole lives.
One married couple in Massachusetts prove that one good turn deserves another, when they found themselves the recipients of the universe’s version of a double whammy.
It all started last August when Janet Goodwin won $1 million through the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. She and her husband, Robert, were overjoyed.
Little did they know, this was just the start of their new lives as the world’s luckiest couple.
What would you do if you won the lottery? We’ve all dreamed of suddenly coming into a ton of money that we basically didn’t have to do any work for, so what would be the best way for you to spend it?
Would you quit your job in a spectacular fashion, relocate somewhere tropical, and live out the rest of your days in peace? Or maybe you’d take your family and friends on the trip of a lifetime to somewhere exotic? Or you could even just pay off your debts and live comfortably off the interest for the rest of your life.
Of course, no matter how often we buy ourselves a ticket, it just seems like we can never get lucky enough to win. This likely has to do with the fact that the odds are so small they’re basically microscopic, but somehow people have managed to win it without even really trying, so why can’t we?!
Case and point: Oksana Zaharov, a 46-year-old mother of two from North Jersey, was out shopping when she was given the wrong ticket by the clerk, which she begrudgingly paid for. Turns out that clerk may have been an angel in disguise, because the mix-up lead to her winning $5 million!
It should come as no surprise that public figures are not always who they appear to be. Politicians can be liars, spiritual leaders may be linked to corruption, and celebrities are embroiled in horrifying scandals.
For one Chicago do-gooder, the irony of her situation is almost too much. Kathy Gilroy has crusaded for years trying to stop the spread of gambling addiction across the country, and says she doesn’t tolerate any form of it, with a few exceptions.
Gilroy has been involved in the shutdown of numerous illegal lotteries and volunteers her time in order to raise awareness about the dangers of playing with their savings and luck.
It appeared no organization was safe when she played a role in shutting down the raffle held by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), until they received a proper licence.
This is why it came as a shock when she revealed she claimed a $25,000 prize she won in a gambling cafe.
Now, many are asking what makes this different than the games she has criticized in the past.
Okay, we all “want to win the lottery,” but do you really, really want to win?
It takes a lot of determination (and money) but experts and former winners say there are ways to improve your oddsof winning the jackpot.
Remember: Playing the lottery is a form of gambling, so know your limit and play within it.
1. Buy extra tickets
Ok, we never said these tips would be that creative. It’s totally obvious that buying extra tickets increases your chance of winning the lottery, but most frugal and right-thinking people will never buy more than one ticket.
The costs add up, but every guide to winning the lottery agrees buying extra tickets gives you an advantage, especially when it’s combined with other tips and tricks.
2. Stick to your lucky numbers
There’s a heated debate between lotto players about whether it’s best to buy quick picks (where the computer chooses your numbers) or to select your lucky numbers. Our money is on choosing your own.
The thing about lucky numbers is they’re your numbers, and you’ll always remember to play because otherwise you could miss your chance.
To be fair, quick pick tickets make up the vast majority of lottery winners, but playing consistently is more important. Unless…
3. Don’t play every week
Many dedicated lotto players actually avoid big, popular games like the Mega Millions and Powerball draws. Instead, they target unpopular games with low jackpots during their least popular times of the year, and load up on tickets for specific draws.
It takes a little research, but if there’s a winner every time, your odds in one of these draws are way better than most big games.
4. Pick high numbers
This tip won’t improve your odds of “winning the lottery” per se, but experts say it makes you less likely to split a big draw. The theory goes that people tend to pick numbers between 1 and 31, based on important dates in their lives.
Richard Lustig, who says he’s won the lottery seven times, swears by his “number spreading technique,” and included it in his book Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery. Here’s another one of Lustig’s tips…
5. Don’t buy consecutive numbers
Lustig offers his readers this bit of helpful math: if a lottery draw had 5 numbers, and they only go up to 55, the total of your five numbers should be between 104 and 175. The lotto expert says studies show that 70% of jackpot draws fall within that number “spread.”
For he same reasons, Lustig warns to avoid picking multiple numbers from the same group of tens (for example: 21, 25 and 28), or numbers that end in the same digit.
6. Don’t play in patterns
One last trusty tip from Lustig: if you like filling in your number card with an X, diagonal lines or other patterns, odds are other lotto players do too. Like picking low numbers, this only increases your chance of splitting a game-winning draw.
Can you imagine winning the lottery right before Christmas? The financial security would make it the best celebration of all, and you could start to plan out your future. We all think about what we’d do if we hit he jackpot, but few of us will ever experience that rush.
For some extremely unlucky people in South Carolina, they both won and lost the lottery within minutes, and they’re not happy about it.
Nicole Coggins told local news what ran through her mind when she learned she and her mother-in-law won almost $18,000.
“I had been promising [my kids] for years [to take them to Disney World] and I thought I would finally get to, and now I can’t,” Coggins said. “I don’t play the lottery that much. Every once in a while, I’ll buy a Powerball ticket, but something told me to buy a lottery ticket. I was having a good day and I wanted to try it.”
Coggins won $500 on her first ticket, so she bought another one to test her luck.
“And it was another winner and another winner,” Coggins recalled. “So I thought, ‘Well, maybe there is something wrong with their machine. This can’t be real.'”
The mom said her tickets were scanned, she was informed she won, but then almost immediately the cashier said she couldn’t cash in, because the transaction wasn’t valid.
Coggins isn’t the only one who was told this, either. So what went wrong?
What would you do if tomorrow you found out that you had won millions of dollars through the lottery? One man from Ontario, Canada decided that he would lie to his longtime common-law partner, pack up his belongings while she wasn’t home, and then attempt to disappear with the winnings.
Maurice Thibeault and Denise Robertson had been living together as common-law partners for several years. They would buy a lottery ticket each week, alternating who would actually go to the store and pay for it.
When the announcement was made that the winning ticket had been sold in their city, Richardson asked Thibeault if they had won. He knew that they had in fact won, but he lied right to her face in order to greedily keep all the money for himself.
It wasn’t until a few days later that Richardson realized that she had been screwed. She came home and found that Thibeault had packed up all of his stuff and left without any warning. She started calling around and found out through some of his friends that he had quit his job because he had won the lottery.
Richardson immediately called a lawyer to try and stop him from cashing out on the $6 million payday.
There’s a huge chunk of the population that believe in superstitions, especially when it relates to Friday the 13th.
If you have a fear of what is generally regarded as the “unluckiest day of the year,” perhaps one man’s story of luck will help you warm up to the idea that the day may not be all that bad.
Kevin Blake from Waterford, Michigan has been buying lottery tickets for as long as he could remember. The 54-year-old has played the same Mega Million numbers at the same 7-Eleven store all this time, and this year, he finally got lucky.
“I always play some family birthdays, and then I get a couple of Easy Picks,” Kevin said in an interview with Fox 2.
For that play, he picked the numbers 02-07-18-26-31, with a Mega Ball of 12. As per his routine, he put the ticket in his pocket and proceeded with his day.
“I tucked the ticket in my wallet and didn’t give it another thought,” said Kevin. “My wife and I went about our normal weekend routine. Little did we know that I had a ticket worth $21 million in my pocket the entire time.”
That’s right, unbeknownst to Kevin, he had won the jackpot and it wasn’t until his wife, Stephanie, was watching the news that she realized they could potentially be the winners.
“We got online and pulled the numbers up,” Kevin said. “Almost in unison, we both said: ‘Those are our birthdays!’ At that point, I looked at Stephanie and said: ‘High five! We won!’”
However, it wasn’t until after they won that the Blakes realized what day they bought the tickets.
We’ve written about a lot of lucky lottery winners at Shared, but we’ve never come across a winner quite like Andrew “Jack” Whittaker.
The mild-mannered construction company owner from Hurricane, West Virginia set a national record on Christmas Day 2002, when his lucky numbers won him $315 million. Whittaker didn’t even like to play the lottery, but he was at the grocery store anyways and bought $100 worth of tickets, since the jackpot was so big.
At the time, Whittaker’s win was the largest jackpot ever won by a single person. It was also pretty ironic, because Whittaker was already worth at least $17 million because of his business. To give back, the man who already had so much donated 10% of his winnings to Christian charities, and started a non-profit organization in his name.
Whittaker even spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay back the clerk that sold his winning ticket. The grateful winner bought her a new house, a new Jeep Brand Cherokee, and signed her a check worth $44,000. As the New York Times reported, Whittaker was excited about the “good works” he could fund with his winnings.
But just months after his numbers were drawn, Whittaker started feeling the effects of what he calls “the Powerball curse”…
Sometimes being nice to your siblings pays off, and other times it leaves you being the butt-end of a joke. For Bob Stocklas, it was kind of both.
Bob and his brother, James, were vacationing with their family and friends when they decided to buy some Powerball tickets. It was a shot in the dark, but who doesn’t want to hit that jackpot?
The day the Powerball numbers were drawn, James was at his favorite restaurant getting breakfast. He checked the numbers on his phone and realized he had won the lottery! James bought breakfast for everyone in the restaurant and called his family.
“Then it was chaos in the restaurant,” James said. “I looked at [my friend] and we were jumping up and down.”
As it turns out, Bob had also won the lottery. Combined, the brothers won $291 million. But one of the brothers had it a little better than the other.
A lottery winner from Massachusetts has been found guilty of shoplifting.
Just two months after winning $1 million off a scratch ticket, Yokatia Rodriguez was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal $80 worth of lipstick from a Kohl’s store.
The 40-year-old woman was sentenced to a $2,000 fine and to serve 30 days in County Jail if she was not on good behavior for the next year, half the fine and the jail sentence will be dismissed if she doesn’t get arrested again based on the order from Judge Robert Stephen.
Loss prevention officer Michael Frawley was monitoring the video surveillance when he saw her attempting to leave the store without paying for some of the items in her shopping cart. Shopping with her 14-year-old son at the time, she said it was just a misunderstanding.
On the stand during her court hearing, she said she “absolutely did not try to steal.”
She claimed that she merely just forgot to pay for the items.
“It was four days before Christmas,” she said, “It was hectic. I was there shopping for my kids.”
A receipt for that day indicated that Rodriguez paid for $519.66 worth of merchandise that day, but that did not include the five lipsticks.
Frawley said that he had an eye on the cosmetics department because it is the highest loss prevention area of the store.
“It’s expensive and there aren’t coupons for it,” he said. “We lost about $15,000 in that one department alone last year.”
That’s when her 14-year-old son got caught in the middle of the situation.
“Someone is missing $24 million,” the ad read, ” check your tickets.”
The New York Lotto paid for the commercial after finding themselves in a surprising situation. In May 2016 someone bought a ticket at a New York bodega and picked all six of the lucky numbers. That meant they had won a $24.1 million jackpot. But almost a year after the draw no one had stepped forward.
The New York Gaming Comission’s Lottery Division head, Gweneth Dean, had to make a surprising plea to lotto players before the winning ticket was set to expire: “We urge New York Lottery players: Check your pockets. Check your glove box. Look under the couch cushions. If you have this winning ticket, we look forward to meeting you.”
That’s when retired security officer Jimmie Smith decided to check his old lottery tickets. The 68-year-old grandfather had noticed the ads and news stories about the big jackpot, and started to wonder if he could be the winner. It’s lucky he did, because Smith had bought the winning ticket, and almost lost his prize…
Everyone dreams about taking home a lottery prize, and the coveted “cash for life” option seems like the most ideal for many people.
Charles “Chuck” Svatos had lady luck on his side when he defied the one-in-1,813,028 odds of matching five numbers, making him the third Iowan to claim the second-level Lucky for Life prize.
He had a feeling his luck was going to change after visiting the casino in Rock Island and opening two fortune cookies. One said that he would come into some wealth, and the other predicted he would take a trip.
It looks like they were both right!
Chuck now plans to travel to Hawaii and Switzerland, since he lives comfortably in a retirement home and doesn’t need to spend his winnings on a new home or car.
“They’re someplace I’ve always wanted to go,” he told Iowa Lottery Chief Executive Officer Terry Rich.
Chuck spent 39 years of his life working at an Iowa City dairy before retiring and he played the lottery since it started in Iowa in 1985. The best prize he had previously claimed was $6, but that didn’t stop him from dreaming about what it would be like to take home some substantial winnings.
The avid lottery player switched up his strategy and that’s what lead him to the big prize.
Husbands are notorious for being jokesters. They love to play pranks, tell jokes, and make their wives laugh. For one husband, his long-running joke ended up winning him the lottery.
Lee Davies always joked with his fiancee that he won the lottery, and eventually she stopped believing him. He let it go for a few years, and then got an “unexplainable urge” to buy another scratch ticket after two years.
“I used to buy the scratchcards quite often, but I hadn’t for two years or so,” says Davies. “It always felt as though I would always get two matching symbols, and then wouldn’t get the third. I don’t know what happened on that particular day, for some reason I was just drawn to the red scratchcard. I went into J&N Superfoods in Wolverhampton, and picked up a ticket. Maybe it was because I had just picked up my wages, I don’t know. When I scratched off the third symbol, I just couldn’t believe it at all. The woman behind the counter was jumping up and down, and she was shaking because she was so excited for me.”
But Lee’s fiancee, Carryann, had a different reaction.
What would you do if you won the lottery? Buying a new home, car and taking a trip often surfaces as some of the most popular choices among Americans. While we may find ourselves daydreaming about seeing dollar signs in our bank account, very rarely do we find ourselves fall into fortune. When someone does, it’s always interesting to see what they decide to do with the money we have been planning on spending.
Jackpot winners Matt and Cassey Topham had a stroke of luck in 2012 when they won the $61 million (£45 million) prize. They spent $1.6 million (£1.2million) of their winnings on a luxury seven-bedroom mansion.
The 23-year-old couple however, has not moved into to this massive home. They reportedly had $6.7 million ( £5 million) in plans to redevelop the property called “Serenity” and include a 10-car garage shielded by a waterfall, eight bedrooms with four “hubs” covered with solar panels.