The Luck of the Draw: 15 Fascinating Facts About Lotteries

1Denise Rossi

Denise Rossi

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).

2Lottery winners' neighbors

Lottery winners' neighbors

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

3Unclaimed 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.

4Jawdat Ibrahim

Jawdat Ibrahim

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.

5Town lottery jackpot

Town lottery jackpot

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.

6Secret couple millionaires

Secret couple millionaires

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

7Michael Carroll

Michael Carroll

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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8Lottery 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.

9Willie Hurt

Willie Hurt

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.

10Peter Joseph Kelly

Peter Joseph Kelly

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.

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