Nov 15

Hunt Is on for First Powerball Jackpot Winner since Changes

The hunt is on for the first person to win the Powerball jackpot since the game was revamped last month. A player, who bought their ticket for the drawing on Wednesday November 4 at Hobson Tobacco & Beer in Antioch, Tennessee, matched all five main numbers and the Powerball and is now due a payout of $144.1 million if they choose the annuity option when they come forward to claim their prize.

A number of Powerball changes were made after the drawing on Saturday October 3, including ten main balls being added to the matrix and nine Powerballs being removed. The adjustments increased players’ chances of winning a prize, but decreased their odds of hitting the jackpot from roughly one in 175 million to one in 292.2 million.

The jackpot had rolled over nine times since Julie Leach of Three Rivers, Michigan picked up the $310.5 million top prize in the drawing on September 30, opting to take the lump sum cash payout of $197.4 million, which worked out at around $140 million after taxes.

This week’s lucky Powerball winner is the fourth Tennessee Lottery player to hit the game’s jackpot, and will pick up the second biggest lottery win in the state’s history, behind the $259.8 million claimed by Roy Cockrum of Knoxville in June 2014. The store in which the ticket was purchased has already been awarded a $25,000 bonus at the lottery’s headquarters.

The winning numbers in the draw were 2, 12, 17, 20 and 65 with Powerball 17 and Tennessee Lottery spokeswoman Kym Gerlock advised the mystery ticket holder to “sign the back of the ticket, keep it in a secure location, consult with a financial advisor, and call the Lottery headquarters in Nashville before coming to claim the prize.”

by Mike Redfern
Updated November 6th, 2015

Oct 15

Florida Woman Wins $5 Million in Scratch-Off Game

A woman who has won $5 million on the Florida Lottery’s $20 Flamingo Multiplier scratchcard only discovered she was due the massive prize a number of days after making the purchase. Suzanne Gulledge, of Sorrento, Lake County, carried the tickets around in her purse, having forgotten all about them, before eventually scratching them off over brunch with her husband Gerald in a restaurant bar.

“I started scratching and let my husband read the numbers. First one won $50, second nothing then the third one came. He kept looking at it and looking and says you won $5 million. I still don’t believe it,” said Suzanne to the Orlando Sentinel after collecting her prize at the Florida Lottery offices in Tallahassee. The 51-year-old chose to take the $3.7 million cash lump sum option and told the assembled press that her three grown-up sons were also in disbelief at their mother’s good fortune.

Suzanne says she will invest the prize from the ticket that she bought at a Publix store in Wilton Manors near Fort Lauderdale, where she keeps a second home for work purposes. The retailer will also receive a $10,000 bonus from the Florida Lottery as a reward for selling the lucky scratcher.

She beat odds of 1 in 3.8 million to win the fourth of six jackpots on offer in the Flamingo Multiplier game, which offers overall odds of 1 in 2.97 of winning any award. The Florida Lottery provides a number of different scratchers, with entry prices ranging from $1 to $25, and reports that they comprise 67 percent of all lottery ticket sales in the Sunshine State. In addition, instant win games generated more than $632 million for educational projects in Florida in the last fiscal year.

As well as scratchers, the Florida Lottery players can take part in exciting draw games like Florida Lotto, Powerball and Mega Millions.

by Mike Redfern
Updated October 29th, 2015

Oct 15

UK Lotto Jackpot Won for First Time Since Big Changes

One lucky ticket holder has become the first UK Lotto jackpot winner since a number of major changes were made to the game earlier this month. The revamped Lotto launched ahead of the draw on Saturday 10th October and the top prize grew to £14.6 million as a result of three consecutive rollovers before being won on Wednesday.

It was the largest prize to be given away since five players split £19.5 million back in September 2012, and indicates that the new UK Lotto format will deliver on its promise of delivering bigger jackpots.

The main change for players is that they are now required to select six numbers from a choice of 59 balls rather than the previous pool of 49, making the odds of landing the jackpot longer. However, to make the game more attractive for players a new prize tier has also been introduced, rewarding anyone who matches just two main numbers with a free Lucky Dip.

The Lotto Raffle has also been adapted and is now the Lotto Millionaire Raffle, guaranteeing that at least one player in every draw will win £1 million. The first Lotto draw under the new rules, on Saturday 10th October, actually created 25 millionaires. There are also 20 players in each Lotto Millionaire Raffle who receive a prize of £20,000.

There will be another chance for UK Lotto players to win prizes on Saturday night, when a jackpot of £4.4 million will be available if anyone can match all six main numbers.

by Mike Redfern
Updated October 23rd, 2015

Oct 15

Single Ticket Wins $310.5 Million Powerball Jackpot in Michigan

A single Powerball ticket, bought at a gas station in Michigan, has won its owner the biggest single American lottery prize of the year –  a cool $310.5 million! The entry was purchased at a Shell station in Three Rivers around 6:30pm on Wednesday September 30th, just hours before the numbers 21, 39, 40, 55 and 59 with Powerball 17 were drawn in Tallahassee, Florida.

The Powerball winner has yet to come forward and claim the second biggest jackpot of 2015, only beaten by the $564.1 million bounty from Wednesday February 1, which was shared by three ticket holders. When they do make themselves known to lottery officials, they will have to decide whether to accept the full amount in 30 payments over 29 years, or instead opt for a cash payment of $197.4 million before taxes.

Wednesday’s victorious participant is the first resident of the Mitten State to snare the Powerball jackpot since Donald Lawson scooped a prize worth $337 in August 2012. Lawson decided to take the cash lump sum option of $224.6 million.

The Powerball jackpot had been rolling since Willie Nelson of California picked up the cash prize of $70.1 million ($110 million annuity) in the drawing on Saturday August 1. Nelson bought his winning ticket from the Choice Market at 5001 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles while he was picking up some thick slab bacon, and only came forward recently to claim his windfall.

Regina Bontrager, manager of the Shell on Michigan Avenue, Three Rivers, has revealed to the press that she knows the identity of the winner, but would not say who they were, telling the MLive website “I’m protecting my friends, I have to do that.”

The Michigan Lottery offers the massive multi-state games Powerball and Mega Millions, along with local favourites such as Fantasy 5 and Lotto 47. Winners of Michigan Lottery prizes have a year from the date of the draw in which to stake their claim.

by Mike Redfern
Updated October 2nd, 2015

Sep 15

Lotto Max Jackpot Reaches CAD$60 Million for First Time

A new Lotto Max record is set to be broken in Canada on Friday night after the jackpot reached CA$60 million for the first time. There had previously been a cap on the top prize, which was set at CA$50 million, but a rule change in July gave the jackpot scope to grow even larger and a run of six rollovers since 7th August has pushed the game into exciting uncharted territory.

In addition to the Lotto Max jackpot, participants have a chance to play MaxMillions. There is a top prize of CA$1 million in each MaxMillions draw and the minimum number of draws increases as the Lotto Max jackpot rises. There were eight MaxMillions draws last week, when one ticket holder from Quebec scooped CA$1 million, and there will be about 25 draws on Friday night, giving players even more chances of winning big.

The record jackpot has ignited interest across the country and Andrea Marantz, a spokesperson for the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) is excited about what the draw will hold in store. She told CBC: “People have different triggers when they decide they’re going to lay down their five dollars. What we do find – when it gets up to these really big numbers is that new groups form and people are throwing in their money together and they’re buying tickets together.”

Players must match the seven main numbers drawn in order to win the Lotto Max jackpot, and Marantz has confirmed that she is even giving herself a chance by picking up a ticket. She said: “I’ve got one. And that’s the whole thing – one ticket, right? That’s all it takes to win.”

While Friday’s draw offers the biggest ever Lotto Max jackpot, the record lottery prize ever made available in Canada stands at CA$63.4 million. There were four winners of the Lotto 6/49 draw on 13th April 2013, each pocketing CA$15.9 million.

by Mike Redfern
Updated September 25th, 2015