What would be the first thing you would do after realizing you have just won the lottery? There are so many possibilities… but some of these stories show the good the bad and the ugly; here are some of them.
Won upon a dream
Many lottery winners will admit having their numbers come up to them as an epiphany, which straight after they had to make sure to purchase a lottery ticket using these numbers.
Sometimes the dreamed-of numbers paid off right away, and sometimes the dreamers played those combinations for years before hitting the jackpot. 86-year-old Mary Wollens of Toronto won the Ontario Lottery on 30 September 2006 after seeing “a lotto ticket and a large cheque” in her dream.
Not only had she dreamed of the winning numbers, she actually won the same lottery twice! She had already purchased a lottery ticket with the combination she later dreamed about, but her vision instilled her with such confidence that Mary went out and bought a second ticket with those same numbers.
As things turned out, someone else had also correctly picked all six numbers for that week’s draw, so instead of having to split the $24 million jackpot evenly with another winner, Mary was able to claim a two-thirds share and take home $16 million!
Throwing the ticket in the Garbage!
We’ve all accidentally thrown away checks or a few dollars by mistake, but one lottery winning couple actually threw away their winning ticket to the bin! How can anyone recover from that?
One day during a simple trip to the supermarket, Joanne and Joseph Zagmi purchased a scratch-off lottery ticket. After returning home and unloading their groceries, the ticket remained in the bag and the couple threw it away. By some miracle they remembered that they had thrown the ticket away and the next day dug it out of the dumpster. This so called “garbage” won the Zagami family $1 Million!
Janite Lee, a Korean-American who won a fortune in the lottery and lost it all!
Lee, who emigrated from South Korea as a child, was working in a wig shop, that until she discovered she had won the $18 Million prize in the National Lottery! She moved with her family into a million-dollar gated community in St. Louis and spent money on cars, horses and clothes… in short- Spent her money big time! At the same time she started turning to philanthropy, with political parties and local universities. She eventually found herself at fundraising dinners with then President and Vice-President, Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Before the decade was out, Lee found herself in bankruptcy. The 60-year-old had mere $700 to her name by 2001.
If you believe it hard enough- your dreams will put you in Jail
So what will do in order to save a failing marriage? How about faking a £3 Million Lottery win?
That is exactly what Howard Walmsley, 43 at the time, chose to do back in 2001.
Walmsley, a painter and decorator by trade admitted he had got carried away while trying to salvage his marriage. He said “I have been a fool and did it for love. I was working harder than ever before but people were not paying their bills. We got into all kinds of money trouble. I knew my marriage was heading for the rocks. I was at my wits’ end. I came up with this idea and told my wife I had won a couple of thousand on the lottery. I told her we could pay all our bills but before long the amount just grew to £3 million. The biggest mistake was promising to buy the house. Once I started I couldn’t stop.”
Although he faced jail, his purpose seems to have been served. His wife Kathy, 41, said: “I can see now why he did it. We are staying together.” Walmsley told his wife and daughter Becky, 7 at the time, that he had won the lottery while he was working away from home.
Walmsley was jailed for three years in September 2001 on 13 counts of deception.
$4.85 Million in a Cookie Jar!
Talk about turn of events. A Grieving father found $4.85million winning lottery ticket in dead daughter’s bedroom days before facing eviction. Ricardo Cerezo was left devastated by the death of his 14-year-old daughter Savannah, died in August 2012 following a number of seizures. In a strange turn of events, Mr Cerezo was just days from eviction when his wife encouraged him to check a stash of lottery tickets kept in a cookie jar in his daughter’s bedroom, which was left untouched for months following her death. The grieving father then discovered that one of the tickets had won $4,850,000! “I can’t believe I had $4.85 million in a cookie jar for over three months!” said Mr Cerezo at the time. Mr Cerezo added: “The honest first reaction was mammoth regret. Regret because our youngest wasn’t here to enjoy this.” Later on he added that he is able to find peace in the “incredible gift” from his daughter.
Can’t find the ticket!
Mirlande Wilson, 37, claimed that she was one of the lucky winners of the $105 million on the MegaMillions Lotto jackpot prize back in April, 2012.
Upon being identified as the winner of the huge sum, Wilson stated that she had hidden the winning ticket away where nobody could possibly find it. However, it soon seemed that she had hidden it so effectively that even she was not able to find it.
The plot thickened after Wilson’s co-workers at her McDonald’s workplace claimed the ticket was in fact part of a syndicate that they were involved in. Wilson denied this and then stated the ticket was one she had bought herself and not part of a syndicate. It was after these claims from her co-workers came out that Wilson had initially declared she had mysteriously lost the winning ticket.
The co-workers attempted to sue Wilson for a share of the $100 million and actually- till this day; no ticket was claimed in her behalf.
What can we say ? This world is just full of wonders and Lottery winnings vary from one Lucky winner to the other.
With High Jackpots coming up- this is the perfect time for you to have a ticket for the upcoming draw!