25 Interesting Facts about Lottery

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1Glenda Blackwell

Glenda Blackwell

In 2016, a North Carolina woman named Glenda Blackwell brought a scratch-off lottery ticket to prove to her husband that buying lottery tickets was a waste of money and accidentally ended up winning $1 million.

2. The mysterious winner of a $560 million lottery ticket who fought to keep her identity a secret was allowed to stay anonymous, a judge ruled in March 2018. The woman’s lawyers argued that she is part of a group that “has historically been victimized by the unscrupulous.”

3. A woman named Joan R. Ginther has won the Lottery four times since 1993. She was outed as a Ph.D. of Statistics from Stanford University and had figured out the pseudo-number generator for the distribution of the winning tickets. She won a total of $17 million and has since moved to Las Vegas.

4. In 2004, a serial rapist named Iorworth Hoare won £7 million on a lottery ticket he bought on the day of his release from the prison.

5. In 2016, a $40 million lottery winner in China wore a monkey costume to hide his identity. This then became a trend for many lottery winners thereafter in China where the winners have worn ninjas to Baymax (from Big Hero 6) costumes.

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6Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal

A Filipino nationalist named Jose Rizal won a lottery in 1892 while in exile in Dapitan and reportedly donated the 6200 pesos jackpot for an “educational project.”

7. A man named Mohan Srivastava cracked the code to winning scratch lottery tickets but calculated it would only net him $600 per day and instead of secretly plundering the game, he decided to report the problem to the Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

8. Abraham Lee Shakespeare was an American laborer who won a $30 million lottery jackpot, receiving $17 million in 2006. In 2009, his family declared him missing, and in January 2010 his body was found buried under a concrete slab in the backyard of an acquaintance.

9. A woman named Denise Rossi had won a $1.3 million lottery, filed for divorce in hurry and at the end lost all of her lottery money to her ex-husband as a result of violating disclosure laws (he sued her after he learned about the money).

10. Lottery winners’ neighbors have a higher chance of going bankrupt because they try to keep up with the winners' increased rate of spending.

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11Unclaimed prizes

Unclaimed prizes

Roughly 114 prizes worth $1 million or more went unclaimed in 2015. In fact, about $2 billion in lottery prizes go unclaimed every year.

12. An Arab Israeli man named Jawdat Ibrahim won $22 million in the Illinois lottery in 1990 and used his winnings to develop his home village of Abu Ghosh. The hummus restaurant he opened there has been used to host Israel-Palestine peace talks and has also set the world record for largest Hummus.

13. In 2012, everyone in the town of Sodeto in Spain won the £600 million lottery jackpot except for a man named Costis Mistotakis because ticket sellers forgot to come to his door.

14. In 2011, a Chicago couple won $30 million in the state lottery and didn't tell anyone. Not even their kids.

15. A 19-year-old garbage man named Michael Carroll won $14.4 million in the British Lottery in 2002, spent it all on gambling drugs and prostitutes. He is now working in a cookie factory.

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16Lottery winners

Lottery winners

Lottery winners in the U.S. tend to move house immediately to areas of established privilege, whereas Canadians tend to renovate. Nearly 80% of winners from both countries quit their jobs (often to their regret), and many who kept working were alienated from co-workers.

17. A man named Willie Hurt won the lottery in 1989 for $3.1 million. He then spent all the money on crack, cocaine, and was later charged with murder.

18. An accountant named Peter Joseph Kelly murdered his client, a $5 million lottery winner, just because he was pushed over the edge by her continued wasteful spending.

19. A Canadian lottery winner named Sharon Tirabassi blew through her $10 million winnings in less than 10 years and now lives paycheck to paycheck.

20. A woman named Christina Elizabeth Goodenow bought a winning lottery ticket with her dead mother-in-law's credit card. The police claimed it was obtained by illegal means and kept the $1 million jackpot for themselves.

21Zhao Liqun

Zhao Liqun

In 2005, a Chinese man named Zhao Liqun found that he could still buy lottery tickets within a 5-min window after the winning numbers were announced. Through this loophole, he won over $4 million. Chinese authorities discovered the loophole and, in 2007, he was sentenced to life for fraud.

22. A New Jersey man named John Roland purchased two identical lottery tickets and won the Jackpot. With one other winning ticket sold elsewhere, John received two-thirds of the $879,000 prize instead of half.

23. A Calgary man named Tom Crist won a $40 million lottery jackpot and gave all of his winnings away in memory of his late wife.

24. A Canadian man named Joel Ifergan lost out on $13.5 million lottery win because his winning numbers were printed 7 seconds too late.

25. After winning a record $314 million in the lottery, Jack Whittaker had a series of unfortunate events, including his property being vandalized, his granddaughter dying of an overdose, a Casino suing him for bounced checks and his house burning down completely.

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