You have most likely heard all sorts of stories about jackpot winners, both good and bad. Here are some of the best stories we’ve found.

Unbelievable Lottery Wins

1. Brits Win $5 Million Lottery Jackpot But Lose Their Ticket

Martyn and Kay Tott missed out on receiving their wealth after losing the winning lottery ticket. They managed to convince officials of their story but since there is a 30 day time limit on reporting lost tickets, the jackpot became the largest unclaimed amount since the lottery began in 1994.


Martyn and Kay Tott after losing their fortune

2. Canadian Man Wins $4 Million In 2009 Lottery But Goes To Jail

In 2009, Barry Shell won the lottery after spending some of his last pocket change on the winning ticket. However after his photo was published in the news, police swooped down with a warrant for his arrest on charges of theft and possessing stolen property.  He gave his winnings to a relative and served jail time.


Barry Shell on a happier day

3. South African Man Wins Lotto Twice

A 34 year old man from Limpopo has broken records by winning the lottery jackpot twice in 7 years. The first win was in 2002 with R11 million and the second win was in 2009 with Powerballs jackpot prize of R30 million. According to sources the man wishes to remain anonymous and is already a successful businessman who wishes to use the money in property development and the future of his four children. His betting odds to win the first Lotto were 14 million to one and for his second the odds were stacked up at 24 million to one.


Read more: Lotto Betting Strategies  

4. New Jersey Man Lies To His Colleagues About Lottery Winning

Americo Lopes from New Jersey, America won the lottery and subsequently quite his job, claiming he needed surgery. He had bought the ticket together with co-workers with the deal that they would split the winnings. On finding out about his lies, his co-workers sought legal help and subsequently the court ordered Lopes to split the winnings.


Read More: 9 Big Betting Wins

5. Mom Back On Welfare After Winning $10 Million Jackpot

Single mother, Sharon Tirabassi won the Canadian Lottery in 2004. Living on Welfare life was tough for her and her children until she struck it lucky in the lottery. Unfortunately though by spending her winnings on expensive cars, big houses, exotic holidays, over-the-top parties and handing out loans to friends and family, Tirabassi is back on welfare after just 10 years of living the good life. Fortunately though she had put some money into trusts for her children which they could access when they turn 26.


Sharon Tirabassi with won of the many items she bought before going bankrupt

6. 84-year old Woman Saves School

In 2013, Gloria Mackenzie an 84-year old retiree won a cool $598 million in the US Lottery.  She consequently donated $1.8 million to the High School in her home town of East Millinocket, ME. The principal says that without this donation the school would have closed. They are now able to carry on educating the small town’s children.


The day Gloria Mackenzie was announced as a millionaire

7. Scottish Couple Give It All Away

Christine and Colin Weir have dedicated their lives to making notable donations to children in need after winning $250 million in 2011. To date they have given their house to a teenage mom, donated to disabled children, provided prosthetic limbs and supported budding young artists as well as other fund causes in their community through the Weir Charitable Trust.


Colin and Chris with their charitable cheque

8. Lady buys two Lottery Tickets and gets more than expected

In 2006, Mary Wollens of Ontario, Canada purchased her usual ticket with the same combination of numbers for the Ontario lottery. However after she had done so she had a dream of winning and so purchased a second lottery ticket. Many would say this is foolish as if your numbers are wrong you are doubly out of pocket and if you’re right it won’t make much of a difference. This wasn’t the case for Mary however as she had the winning combination and it turns out so did another player. So with two winning tickets in hand instead of splitting the winnings evenly 50/50, Mary received 2/3 of the jackpot and took home $16 million.


The not-so-foolish Mary Wollens

9. Liar Liar

Howard Walmsley of Doncaster, England convinced friends and family that he had won £8.4 million in the UK Lottery. He went as far as loaning three Jaguars from a car dealer. Later, after being exposed for his lies he was sent to prison for three years.


Howard and his wife Kathy arrive at court in Sheffield for their hearing.

10. The Unluckiest Man in the World

Frano Selak from Croatia must be the unluckiest yet luckiest man in the world. These are all the things that have happened to Selak in his interesting lifetime:
• In 1962, Selak was traveling via train from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik. However, the train suddenly derailed and plummeted into a river, killing 17 passengers. Frano managed to escape, and only suffered a broken arm and minor bumps and cuts.
• In 1966, Selak was riding on a bus that crashed and plunged into a river. Frano escaped unhurt but four others were killed.
• In 1970, he managed to escape his car before it burst into flames after being parked too close to a faulty fuel pump.
• In 1973, another of Selak’s cars caught fire, forcing fire through the air vents. He suffered no injuries.
• In 1995, he was hit by a passenger bus but only suffered minor injuries.
• In 1996 when he drove off a cliff to escape an oncoming truck, and managed to free himself, he landed in a tree, and watched as his car exploded 300 feet below him.

But, as fate would have it, in 2003 he won $1 million in the Croatian Lottery, turning his luck for the better. He lives a frugal life, has used some of the money for a hip operation and lives happily in Croatia together with his wife.


Frano Selak, a happy man after leading a priceless life.

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