Every lotto win is astounding, especially for the lucky winner involved – but some stories just seem too good to be true. Here are the stories of seven unbelievable lotto winners that will make your jaw drop.
A 74-year old Croatian man won $1 million in 2003 – but his long history of lucky escapes is far more interesting. His extraordinary run of luck began in 1962 when a train he was taking derailed into an icy river, killing 17 passengers but leaving him mostly unscathed. The next year, he was forced to jump from a falling plane and managed to land safely in a haystack. In 1966, while travelling on a bus, he managed to escape unharmed when it crashed into a river. In 1970 and again in 1973, he narrowly escaped death when both of his cars blew up. He managed to spend two decades in safety before being hit by a bus in 1995. Finally, in 1996, he was forced to drive off a cliff to escape an oncoming truck, but was caught safely in a tree. After winning lotto, the man said that he could be considered “the world’s unluckiest man, or the world’s luckiest man” – and he prefers the latter.
A 55-year old man went from living on the streets of Hungary to having his pick of accommodation anywhere in the world – all thanks to a last chance lotto ticket which brought him $2.8 million. The man was waiting at a train station when he decided to spend his last few coins on a lotto ticket. It was a gamble that changed his life forever when he matched all 7 winning numbers. The windfall meant he was able to buy homes for his three children and a car for the family, but there was no spending spree for this cautious man. “I have become rich but I have not become a different person,” he said.
A man from Melbourne, Australia with just 8 cents left in the bank won $1.5 million in 2015. Astoundingly, the single father of two had been to see a psychic in the days prior to the draw, who told him his financial situation would soon be looking up. The stunned Division 1 winner said that his massive lotto windfall would “certainly do the trick” in that regard, adding that his win “must have been written in the stars.” After checking his ticket “about 10 times”, it finally sunk in that he had become an instant millionaire. “Now I have $1,500,000.08,” he said. The man planned to use the money to help his family and invest in his children’s future.
A group of friends from the Perth suburb of Willetton managed to win not one, but two Division 1 prizes worth $800,000 each, after the syndicate coordinator mistakenly bought a second winning ticket. One of the winners explained how he had accidentally selected an advanced play option while buying the syndicate’s regular Saturday Lotto ticket, which created an extra entry in that week’s draw. “It just so happened to be ‘that’ draw that we won… giving us not one, but two Division 1 prizes.” Each syndicate member took home $157,474. “It’s just stunning,” said the syndicate coordinator of the unusually lucky win.
An 86-year old woman from Toronto, Canada was lucky enough to win a Division 1 prize worth over $8,000,000 in September 2006 – but she simply stunned lottery officials when she revealed she had a second ticket at home with the same winning numbers, bringing her total winnings to $16.4 million. She credited her massive stroke of luck to a dream in which she saw the winning numbers. After purchasing her original ticket, she felt so confident that she bought a second $20 ticket on the day of the Lotto 6/49 draw – and her gamble paid off. “I should pay more attention to my dreams!” she said later.
A Canadian couple in their 70s won over $11 million in 2010 – and within five months, they had given it all away. The generous couple decided they felt more comfortable giving rather than receiving, and made sure the money went towards helping those less fortunate. After taking care of their families first, the money was donated to a range of causes including public services, charities, churches, and cemeteries. A large portion was donated to hospitals, including the facility where the winning wife had undergone treatment for cancer. “There’s so much good being done with that money,” she said. “We have each other,” added her husband. “We’re the lucky ones.”
In 1983, a 55-year old police officer from the town of Dobbs Ferry, New York made a bargain with a waitress at his favourite local pizzeria – instead of giving a tip, he proposed they go halves in a $1 lottery ticket he had in his pocket. The waitress agreed and helped him pick the numbers. Later that week, she was shocked out of a deep sleep when the police officer called to say their ticket had won a $6 million prize – and that half of it belonged to her. After 24 years at the pizzeria, the waitress had no plans to quit, and the police officer said he was “anxious” to get back to work. “I’ve been a simple person all my life,” he said. “I hope money never changes me.”
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