Last year was an exciting year in lottery history with multiple winners making headlines around the globe. 2016 is causing an even bigger media frenzy. On 13 January, three winning Powerball tickets in the United States split $1.6 billion, the world’s largest lottery jackpot. The lottery gained worldwide attention as the jackpot rose higher and higher. Now that the jackpot has been won, attention has turned to the identity of these mega lottery winners. Let’s take a look at recent lottery winners who have garnered the most attention and have filled us with jackpot envy.
The Billion-Dollar Media Lovers
Lisa and John Robinson of Munford, Tennessee are normal people who are living in extraordinary circumstances. The married couple purchased one of three winning Powerball tickets for the $1.6 billion draw on 13 January. Winning the world’s largest jackpot in history was sure to grab people’s attention, but it was their decisions after winning that intrigued people the most. Even before claiming their prize at the lottery office, the Robinsons flew to New York to do an interview on national television with the winning ticket in John’s pocket! The Robinsons said they plan to keep their jobs and their current house; the first thing they will do with the money is pay off their daughter’s student loans and their mortgage. They decided to take the lump sum option, which gives them $327 million before taxes. The owners of the other two winning tickets have not been revealed as of yet.
Refugees go From Rags to Riches
Sometimes people that win large sums in the lottery seem unworthy, squandering their riches on parties and bad behaviour. And other times, one couldn’t think of a winner more deserving of their good fortune. The latter is true for two refugees that won big lottery prizes last year.
In June 2015, a 30-year-old Syrian man won €1 million after purchasing a lottery scratch card in Paris. The winner owned a small business in his home country, but had to escape to France in 2011 after the start of the civil war. This heartwarming win was kept secret until last month, when the French lottery operator, Federation Francaise, went public with the story in a local newspaper.
A few months after the win in Paris, another refugee made headlines after winning the El Gordo Christmas lottery in Spain. It was a real-life Christmas miracle for Ngame, a 35-year-old Senegalese refugee, and his wife. Ngame has not had an easy life. He almost died on the journey to Europe when the boat he was on ran into trouble, but thankfully he was saved by the Spanish coast guard. He and his wife have been living in Almeria, Spain since 2008, barely getting by as vegetable pickers. Their luck changed for the better on 22 December 2015, when Ngame’s El Gordo raffle ticket matched the winning numbers for a total prize of €400,000.
Costa Rica Man Wins France Loto Prize Online
A Costa Rican lottery winner in the news! A man named Christian V., a 72-year-old Belgian expat who made his way to Costa Rica, bought a France Loto ticket online from theLotter, a lottery ticket purchasing service. On 11 July 2015, he found out that his ticket was worth €76,000. Okay, so this may not have made worldwide news, but we’re excited that someone in Costa Rica had some lottery luck. One month later, however, an Iraqi man used the same site to play Oregon Megabucks, a US state lottery, and won the $6.4 million jackpot. By Oregon law, lottery winners must be made public, but due to safety reasons, the Iraqi winner was allowed to bypass this and claim his prize anonymously. This was a wise decision, because the story of an Iraqi winning a US jackpot online caused a media sensation with stories printed in major publications across the world.
Couple Become Lottery Millionaires TWICE
The odds of winning a big EuroMillions jackpot are low to say the least. So what are the odds of winning twice? The answer to that is 1 in 283 billion and one lucky couple in the UK beat those odds. David and Kathleen Long made headlines when they won £1 million playing the EuroMillions Millionaire Maker raffle on 27 March 2015. The couple previously won the £1 million raffle in 2013. The wins have not changed the Longs at all – they still live in their mobile home and live relatively frugally. Can they go for a historic hat trick and win a third time? When asked that by the media, David replied with a playful “you never know.”