Many people all over the world invest their money in lottery tickets weekly. Some just buy lottery tickets for investment, others for entertainment purposes only. And if ever wondered what are odds for you winning a jackpot? The answer is very slim. Yes, lottery games are entirely dependent on the chances and luck factor. And these interesting stories behind winning a lottery will surely make you believe in the luck factor. Read on to know about these 12 absolutely insane stories about people who won a lottery.
1. A waitress won $10,000,000 from a tipped lottery ticket and got sued by her colleagues. Later, the person who tipped her the ticket sued her too. She then appeared on the court and challenged the IRS.
Tonda Lynn Dickerson, a former waitress in Waffle House in Grand Bay, Alabama, was given a lottery ticket by Edward Seward as a tip. He was a regular customer of that Waffle House. He used to buy lottery tickets and share them with his friends and the Waffle House employees.
Eventually, on March 7, 1999, Tonda was the luckiest one among those five employees whose envelope contained a lottery ticket. Her’s was worth $10 million as a tip – and it was one of the two winning tickets of that evening.
Seward and Tonda’s colleagues claimed that they had made an oral pact that said that the amount would be distributed among the entire group. They sued Dickerson for not doing this. The case was dismissed as no oral contract related to gambling was to be considered legal in Alabama.
To avoid further legal complications while sharing 51% of the winnings with her family, she placed her winnings in a corporation, and eventually, she qualified for a gift tax worth $1,119,347.90. (1, 2)
2. A man from New Jersey bought two bottles of orange juice for $5 while it was getting sold at half-price somewhere else. At his wife’s insistence, he returned them, and with the remaining $2.50, he bought lottery tickets. He won $315.3 million from those tickets.
Tayeb Souami, a 56-year-old Little Ferry resident and an accountant for a food-importing company, came home after buying a bottle of orange juice. His wife asked him to return the bottle as it was too expensive.
It was $5 at a ShopRite in Hackensack, but the same bottle was available for $2.50 elsewhere. While returning home, he went to a Powerball counter and the winning prize amount of $306 million caught his eye. He bought two tickets with the remaining amount which was returned to him from ShopRite.
The very next day when he planned for some other work, he found his car was dirty. He was about to take his car to the carwash, when stopped at a signal, he could see a 7-Eleven store on his right and decided to check the winning lottery numbers.
The first ticket was not the one but… Bang On! The second ticket was. “It was big!” as said by the cashier. The amount was $315.3 million.
With the plan of refinancing his house, taking care of his family as well as himself, paying off college loans, and investing a big amount in a college fund for his daughter, Souami added, laughing “I love orange juice now.” (1, 2)
3. Glenda Blackwell, a woman from Leicester, bought a scratch-off lottery ticket just to prove to her husband that they are all useless and eventually a waste of money. She won $1 million from that ticket.
Glenda Blackwell, a North Carolina woman, was tired of her husband’s habit of “wasting money” on buying lottery tickets. Her husband asked her to buy him a Powerball ticket.
Pissed off, Glenda bought a $10 Carolina Millions Scratch-off ticket instead. She was aggravated and about to teach him a lesson proving the point that none of these were going to win anything.
But destiny had something else in store for them.
The scratch-off ticket won her $1 million. Glenda mentioned “I had to eat my words, but they were worth eating,” while giving an interview to CNN affiliate WLOS.
She pocketed $415,503 after taxes and used the lump sum amount to buy some land and a home and to help her granddaughters for their college. (source)
4. In 2005, a Chinese man managed to find out that he could buy tickets for the lottery within a five-minute time frame after the winning numbers were declared. He made $4 million this way and was eventually caught by the Chinese authorities.
In 2005, 36-year-old Chinese lottery agent Zhao Liquin who was the owner of three lottery stalls in Anshan, China came to know about the loopholes in Welfare Lottery “3D” system.
After drawing the lottery numbers, the window used to remain open for five minutes to get qualified tickets and bag the prize amount easily. Zhao took illegitimate advantage of this flaw and ended up winning $3.76 million in lottery tickets.
However, he had the fear of getting caught by the law in the back of his head. As a remedy, he engaged his neighbors and friends to claim the money so that he didn’t get noticed by the authorities.
But that turned out against him as the illegal claims of winning lotteries got him caught eventually, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment for his actions in 2007. In addition to that, all of his properties were seized by the Government. (1, 2, 3)
5. A woman won $1.3 million in the lottery, and to avoid sharing the amount, she divorced her husband. Her husband found out and sued her. She had to give 100% of her winnings to her husband for falsifying data about their property during the divorce.
Denise De Rossi from Los Angeles won a lottery ticket that hit the jackpot in December 1996. In spite of being lucky enough to secure $1.3 million in lottery winnings, luck didn’t favor her much.
She had to give up 100% of her winnings to her ex-husband as she kept it secret from her husband and deliberately filed for divorce so that she wouldn’t have to give away the entitled share to her husband, Thomas Rossi.
Being completely unaware of this fact, her husband found out about it after one and a half years when one day he received a letter addressed to Denise. In it, she was asked whether she was interested in a lump sum buy-out of her winnings.
Also, a fact surface that Denise would use the address of her mother’s house for annual checks so that the entire scenario could be kept from her husband.
Not only that, she filed for divorce the very next month after winning. The Court of Appeals ruled that Thomas Rossi was entitled to get all the winning money under a Family Code Statute that penalizes spouses for falsifying data about their property. (source)
6. In 2002, a man from Michigan found out using math and probability equations, that if they buy a particular amount of tickets, they will always win and make a profit. He and his wife, Marge, made millions this way.
The story of Jerry and Merge Selbee will stay in the history of lottery geniuses to spot a loophole in the system and exploit it. At the age of 60, the couple first found out about the Winfall Lottery that had a different jackpot formula than the other ones.
Math major Jerry didn’t take long to understand with simple arithmetic there are surefire ways to make money out of it. He exclaimed that in games like Mega Millions, the jackpot would continue growing until and unless one lucky winner emerged with all the matching six numbers.
On the other hand, Winfall had a different procedure for choosing the winner. In this case, once the jackpot hit five million dollars, and there was no winner with all the six matching digits, participants with five, four, or even three winning numbers could opt-in for the prize.
Because of this, he and his wife started buying tickets in large chunks. The first time, they bought tickets worth $3,600 and won $6,300. Then he bought tickets worth $8,000 and made almost double that. In total, he and his wife made $26 million before the lottery was shut down.
The happy couple in their eighties has paid the education fees of thirty family members including children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They also helped family members to make money out of the same lottery. (source)