Apr 14

$30 Million Mega Millions Ticket Claimed in California

Tuesday 15 April 2014 – Mega Millions’ most recent winner came forward to claim his prize yesterday, just 10 days after the draw took place. Leopoldo Choi of Los Angeles won the $30 million double rollover jackpot on April 4 when he matched all five main numbers plus the Mega Ball.

The winning numbers on the night were 1, 10, 15, 41 and 54 with the Mega Ball of 9 and Choi was the only player in the nation to successfully match all six numbers.

Choi, who arrived at California Lottery’s Van Nuys office yesterday morning, declined to comment on his win but opted for the lump sum cash payment of $16.6 million rather than accepting the 29 annuity payments totalling $30 million.

Choi’s lucky Quick Pick ticket was purchased at the Century City 76 gas station on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles and the store’s owners are set to receive a bonus worth $150,000 – the equivalent to one half of one percent of Chois big win. However, as lottery winners in California are not required to accept their win publicly, no further information is known about the lucky player.

In the same draw, fellow California resident Deogracias Pingul came within just one number of sharing the top prize. Pingul, who described himself as a regular lottery player, was one of two Mega Millions players who won in the Match 5 tier and picked up a prize worth $233,000. Usually the second tier Mega Millions prize is worth $1 million but as Californian prizes are calculated on a pari-mutuel basis, Pingul suffered as a result of low ticket sales. His ticket, also a Quick Pick, was purchased at the Island Pacific Supermarket on Dyer Street in the Union City region of Alameda County.

by Mike Redfern
Updated April 16th, 2014

Mar 14

Three’s the Charm – Lucky Couple Win the Lottery Three Times in just Three Weeks

Monday March 31 2014 – One Virginia couple can’t believe their luck after they scooped three lottery prizes worth more than $2 million in a single month! Calvin and Zatera Spencer of Portsmouth, Virginia, beat incalculable odds to take home three big wins from three different lottery games in three weeks!

The pair began their winning streak on March 12 when they matched all five main numbers in the midweek Powerball drawing to win the $1 million prize.  The couple’s ticket actually became the largest winning ticket in the draw after no other players across the nation managed to match five or more main numbers. Had the Spencer’s matched the Powerball number, they would have won a jackpot prize worth an estimated $60 million.

Calvin purchased the Easy Pick ticket for the mid-week draw from Barber Tire & Auto on Portsmouth Boulevard and after his win said; “It feels fantastic. It feels like a blessing.” Little did he know he was about to feel a whole lot better.

Less than two weeks later, Calvin was feeling flush following his $1 million win and bought ten identical tickets for the Virginia Pick 4 daily game. Miraculously, his winning combination of 6-6-6-6 was drawn on March 26 and, as the game carries a set jackpot prize of $5,000, he earned the top prize for each of his ten tickets.

However, the Spencer’s weren’t finished there. The very next day Mr. Spencer bought a $100 Million Cash Extravaganza scratch-off and won the second place prize worth $1 million. Calvin called his home immediately and said; “Baby, we did it again!” to his astonished wife.


Calvin and Zatera Spencer collect the first of their prizes
Image Source: Virginia Lottery

Virginia Lottery spokesman John Hagerty said; “I haven’t seen anything like it in my 12 years here. People in the office couldn’t believe it was them when they showed up with the winning ticket.”

Lottery staff may need to prepare themselves for another visit from the Spencer’s as while collecting his win, Calvin said; “We’re not finished yet”. With luck like his, we’re inclined to believe him!

To read more about players who have achieved the inconceivable feat of winning the lottery multiple times, click here.

by Mike Redfern
Updated March 31st, 2014

Sep 13

The Frugal Lottery Millionaires

Earlier in the week we bought you the story of Powerball lottery winner, Willie Seeley, who won a share of the monster $448 million Powerball jackpot last month. Despite never having to worry about money again, Willie has said the money hasn’t made him happy after making substantial lifestyle changes including quitting work and becoming a media darling.

There is a lot of truth in the old saying that money doesn’t buy happiness. Here are just a few millionaires – lottery winners and business people alike – who continue to live ordinary lives despite having mega fortunes, and are the better for it.

Alexandra Chaar, from Clearwater, Florida, won $1 million on a Florida Lottery scratch off

Alexandra Chaar, 21, was earning $400 per week as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant and living in a shared house with four friends when she struck it lucky on a Florida Lottery scratch off in 2012. But instead of splurging all her cash on a new house and quitting her job, Chaar continued to work her job and stayed in the same shared house. Her only splurges were a car and a camera. Otherwise, she insists that life has stayed the same.

“I ask myself why is it me that won the lottery? Why me, when I’m happy working all the time and supporting myself?”

Susan Boyle, from Scotland, singer who shot to fame on Britain’s Got Talent

The exterior of Susan Boyle’s home in Blackburn, Scotland. Picture: Tim Anderson.

52 year old Susan Boyle, who hails from the town of Blackburn in Scotland, has amassed a fortune of more than $33 million since being spotted by Simon Cowell on the reality TV show Britain’s Got Talent. However, despite touring the world, singing for Pope Benedict XVI and appearing on TV shows across the globe, Boyle has remained grounded. She is often spotted taking the bus to shop at a dollar store in her Scottish hometown and still lives with her cat in the modest house she grew up in.

Paul Cousins, from Perth, Western Australia, won AUD$5 million on the Australian Lotto

Lotto winner Paul Cousins

When 55 year old Paul Cousins scooped the jackpot on the Australian Lotto back in 2009, he continued to live in the caravan he had called home for the previous five years. Despite making headlines after his Lotto win, he refused to leave his caravan, saying he was “happy as Larry” living there. His biggest extravagance was a new outboard motor for his boat – but not a new boat.

“I’m just a simple bloke,” he explained.

David Cheriton, from Canada, one of the first investors in Google

With an estimated worth of $1.3 billion, Cheriton would be entitled to splash out a little more than most. However, he lives so frugally that, when eating out, he regularly takes half of his meal home in a doggy bag to eat the next day. He has also confessed to cutting his own hair for the last 15 years to avoid barbers fees and tips. Cheriton credits his frugal ways to growing up in a household of eight during the Great Depression in Canada and where penny pinching was essential to survive.

With lottery winners twice as likely to be made bankrupt than the general population (according to a study by the University of Kentucky), it’s clear that even with millions of dollars in the bank your future is not always guaranteed. Successful lottery winners allow their lives to be enriched rather than ruled by their sudden wealth – a lesson future lottery winners would be wise to heed.

For some, the possibilities created by buying their ticket is enough to create a short term level of excitement called “brainstorming”, according to author Alex Osborn. So if you want to get your pulse racing and endorphins flowing, you could do a lot worse than play tonight’s Powerball which has an estimated jackpot of $60 million. But remember the lessons of Willie, Alexandra and Paul – if you do win, make the right millionaire lifestyle decisions!

by Sadie Walton
Updated November 6th, 2019