Friday, February 28, 2014

Identity of Vermont Megabucks Winners Revealed at Last

The identity of the couple who won last week's $3 million (US) Vermont Megabucks jackpot has been revealed.

Bob and Jeanne Gagnon from Madawaska, Maine, bought their winning ticket from Bob’s Neighborhood Store and originally asked store owners, Pete and Susan Williams, to keep their identity a secret, but the couple has now had time to come to terms with their win and have finally allowed their identity to be revealed.

The Gagnons chose to take their winnings in annuity payments, for the next thirty years, because it will ensure they have long-term cash.

"That means I have to live until I'm 90-something now," Mrs. Gagnon explained.

The Gagnons, who have been married for 47 years, had no idea they'd won until their son rang the lottery's claim line.

The couple has been playing Megabucks since the first drawing on September 14, 1985. The responsibility of picking the numbers always falls to Mrs. Gagnon and the couple has never had a big win before so she thought her son was having a laugh with here when he first told her the news.

When she realized her son was in earnest Mrs. Gagnon woke up husband and told him they'd won.

"I'm glad," he said.  "It's about time we got some good news."

When asked if their prior lack of luck had ever deterred her from continuing to pick Megabucks numbers, Mrs. Gagnon stated that it had not.

"You can't win if you don't play," she said.

Kansas Cash Jackpot Goes to Winner in Manhattan

Monday's $563,881 Super Kansas Cash jackpot has been claimed by a lotto player from Manhattan.

The winner, who has asked to remain anonymous, will receive $394,716.70 after state and federal taxes.

The wining 'Quick Pick' ticket was purchased from the Blackstone Tavern at 1344 Westloop Place, Manhattan and the store will receive a $1,000 bonus for selling a winning Ticket.

Super Kansas Cash is a Kansas-only game. Jackpots starting at $100,000 and there are eight ways to win a prize. Tickets cost $1 and there are two plays per ticket. Drawings take place at 21:10 (CST) every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

New Jersey Woman Scoops Top Prize

A woman from Scotch Plains, New Jersey bought splashed out on a few scratch-off tickets earlier this month and became the first person to win the $1 million top prize offered by the New Jersey Lottery's  $150 Million Cash Spectacular game.

Sylvia Vasquez bought her winning ticket on February 11, from W's Freshmart on Route 22 East in Union and as soon as she realized she'd uncovered a small fortune she jumped in her car and sped to the lottery headquarters forty miles away in Lawrenceville.

"I never thought my dream would come true but today, we made it," Vasquez told lottery staff.

She now intends to start a college fund for her children and is considering buying a house.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Train Restoration Back on Track Thanks to Lottery Funding

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a £95,000 grant to fund a classic train restoration project.

Railway locomotive 4930 'Hagley Hall' was retired from service 27 years ago and is now owned by the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust.

The restoration will be completed at the Severn Valley Railway’s Heritage Skills Training Academy in Worcestershire and Shropshire and the project will provide students with valuable experience that will help ensure that valuable locomotive skills are not lost.

Hugh McQuade, chairman of the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust, stated, "Individuals with the requisite heritage skills, for example steam locomotive fitters or boilersmiths do not exist in the modern workplace and for the railway to survive these time served skills need to be passed on to a younger generation."

In order to fully restore Hagley Hall students will need to strip the train right down and completely rebuild it, but although the project will help ensure dying skills are not lost the train is not destined to be a just a museum piece. When the restoration is complete the trust intend to run it up and down the branch line to allow visitor a chance to experience rail travel as it used to be for previous generations.

Reyahn King, head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands is pleased that lottery funds will help get the project on track.

"Visitors to the Severn Valley Railway will be delighted that a one-time static exhibit is a working locomotive once more," King said.

The HLF is responsible for distributing a share of the funds raised by UK National Lottery Good Causes. HLF grants are awarded to projects designed to sustain and transform the British Heritage.

Australian Newsagent's Lotto Delight

A newsagent in Sandy Bay, Hobart, Tasmania, was delighted on Wednesday when he discovered he'd sold a Australia Lottery ticket worth $1 million.

Sandy Bay Newsagency proprietor, Trent Young, said many of his customers have been playing the Monday and Wednesday night Australia Lotto games for years.

"I am glad it has paid off for one of them," Young said.

Young has owned the Newsagency for three years and admitted it was the first time he'd sold a big-win ticket. He now hopes to sell many more.

To play the Australia Lotto players pick six numbers and the lottery provides two bonus numbers for each draw. There are seven ways to win a prize and the game has fixed guaranteed jackpot of AU $1 million.

Single Mum Wins the Israel Lottery

A single mother of three has won four million shekels ($1,137,236) on the Israel New Lotto and plans to buy a new house.

"I live in a rented apartment. The first thing I’m going to do is buy an apartment," she explained to lottery officials and stated she may also buy a second property as an investment.

The woman has not been named, but lottery staff state she is in her 30s and works as a beautician.

The winner discovered her good luck on Saturday night when she when she went out to get some air and decided to check her ticket for the Tuesday, February 18, draw.

“When I heard I had won I felt like I was in a dream, and I’m still in a dream,” she said, but later admitted the dream was not an unexpected one.

 "For the past few years I had the feeling I would get a prize in the lottery," she said.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Yorker Turns Lottery Mistake into a $10 Million Win

When a store clerk at the Depew One Stop convenience store on Broadway handed over the wrong lottery ticket by mistake it set in motion a series of events that resulted in a $10 million New York Lottery win.

Saturday January 18, began like any other day for printer, Jerry Kajfasz, 53. It was his day off from work so he popped into the Depnew One Stop to pick a supply of cigars and some of his favorite lottery scratch-off tickets.

When the clerk handed him a $20 Win for Life Spectacular ticket Kajfasz noticed the mistake and asked him to swap it for another ticket. The clerk obliged and Kajfasz returned to his truck and began scratching the tickets.

"I kept winning on the scratch-off tickets," Kajfasz said, speaking on Tuesday at a press conference at the Depew One Stop. "I won like seven in a row. I just got lucky, until I hit the big one."

Feeling 'lucky', Kajfasz returned to the store and decided to buy the $20 Win for Life ticket after all.

"Give me that ticket you almost gave me by accident," he said and the clerk handed it over. Kajfasz scratched it off there and then and was astounded to discover he'd won a guaranteed minimum prize of $10 million, or $10,000 a week for life, courtesy of the New York Lottery.

When he had validated the ticket Kajfasz rang his wife and told her the news. Then he called his two children. His son Frank detected a strange tone in Kajfasz' voice and when his father wouldn’t tell him what was wrong he jokingly asked him if he'd won the lottery.

"Well, I didn’t want to tell you this way," Kajfasz' replied. "Come over as soon as possible. I have some champagne."

Rathagan Man Wins EuroMillions Prize

A man from Rathagan, County Wexford, was the only Irish EuroMillions player to win a prize in last Friday's draw.

The winning ticket was purchased from Fullam's Newsagents. Proprietor, John Fullam, was informed he'd sold a winning ticket on Friday, but had no idea which of his customers had won the €298,934 prize.

Fullam didn't have to wonder about the winner's identity for long. The man returned to the store on Saturday morning to check his ticket and got the shock of his life when he discovered he's matched five numbers and a star.

The winner wishes to remain anonymous, but Fullam said the man was excited about his win. Fullam was equally happy about the good news. "We are delighted," he said. "It’s been a while since we had a big win."

UK Police Issue Warning About New Lottery Scam

Police in the UK have issued a warning about a new scam email campaign designed to trick people into parting with personal information by promising them a large EuroMillions prize.

The email looks very convincing and utilizes the National Lottery logo to maximum effect. In order to claim the promised EuroMillions prize email recipients are asked to contact an office in Johannesburg, South Africa, to provide personal details including their name, address, telephone number, and occupation.

The police are urging anyone who receives such a mailing to contact Action Fraud at or call 0300 123 2040

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Zealand Powerball Winner Claims his Prize

A man from Auckland came forward on Monday to claim Saturday's $26.2 million New Zealand Powerball jackpot prize and admitted he had enjoyed all the speculation about the identity of the winning ticket holder.

"It was quite fun reading about the search for the winner in the paper each morning knowing all the while that I had the winning ticket in my back pocket," he said.

The identity of the winner has not been revealed, but the man told lottery officials he knew he would win because he had a good feeling when he purchased his ticket, so he made sure to watch the drawing on Saturday night.

"I actually felt it as soon as I took hold of the ticket, so I made sure to watch," he said.

The winner bought his ticket from the Willy Wonka store near the Auckland water front. Speaking at the weekend, store owner, Nilesh Shaw, told the press he'd had a premonition he was going to sell a winning ticket, so maybe there was a little magic in the store that day.

Although the winner already knew he was onto a winner as soon as he picked his numbers he claims it was still an emotional experience as he watched them coming out of the machine.

The numbers came out and I had them all, and I thought 'Ok, I just need to get the number six now'. So when the Powerball came out, I let out the biggest yell—and some obscenities too, if I'm honest," he said.

Auckland's newest millionaire, and sixth biggest New Zealand Lottery winner to date, now intends to help out his family and friends and is already planning on escaping the New Zealand winter by taking a vacation to somewhere warm.

Big Lottery Funding May Save Lives

A suicide awareness project at the University of Ulster has received a £6,940 grant from the UK National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund.

Statistics show that one in four people suffer from mental health issues at some point in their life. University can be a particular stressful period in a young person's life and it is not uncommon for students to find it hard to cope with life away from their family and friends.

Jemma Dolan, 23, from Belleek in Co Fermanagh said, "Last year there were three suicides in the university. We hadn't had any for years before that. We thought that is it better to be proactive than reactive."

The suicide awareness sessions will be run from the last week of February to the first week of March.

Mega Millions Prize Still Unclaimed in Virginia

Virginia Lottery officials are still waiting for the holder of a winning US Mega Millions ticket to come forward and claim their $1 million prize.

The ticket was bought from the Chesterfield County convenience store and successfully matched five of the winning numbers drawn on Friday Night.

The winner has 180 days from the date of the draw to claim their prize.

A player in Pennsylvania also matched five numbers, but nobody managed to pick all five numbers and the Mega Ball so the jackpot rolled over. The next Mega Millions drawing is on Tuesday, 25 February, at 23:00 (ET), and has an estimated jackpot of $195 million.

Monday, February 24, 2014

New Game Gives Missouri Lottery Players 9 Chances to Win

The Missouri Lottery began selling tickets for a new draw-type game on Sunday. Tickets cost $2 and give lottery-loving punters nine chances to win up $250,000 from a single game.

Each ticket for the new "Triple Play" cash game contains three separate games and each game gives the player three chances to win. The maximum prize set for Game 1 is $250,000, Game 2 has a top prize of $10,000, and $5,000 is the largest payout available from Game 3.

Missouri is the only state to host the Triple Play game.

"All the prizes will be won on tickets bought right here in Missouri," said Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery.

The overall chances of winning a Triple Play prize are 1 in 6.8, so although the size of the prizes on offer are smaller than those of some other games the chances of winning a prize are higher. The odds of winning a prize in the Missouri Lotto draw are 1 in 20 and US Powerball players only have a 1 in 32 chance of winning a prize.

"Based on the design, we expect to average more than 100,000 winners each month and average more than one winner of a quarter of a million," Reardon explained.

To play Triple Play, players must pick four numbers between 1 and 60 for Game 1. If they prefer players can choose "Quick Pick" and allow the computer to choose their numbers for them. Players then receive 8 more Quick Picks and the Triple Play winning numbers will be drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 20:59 (CST), along with the Missouri Lotto and Pick 3 and Pick 4 games.

"We are very excited about this new Draw Game," Reardon said. "Players are going to love getting so many chances to win on one ticket."

Store Owner's Lottery Premonition Comes True

The store owner who sold the New Zealand Powerball ticket that won Saturday's $26 million jackpot said he'd been hoping to sell a winning ticket and had a premonition his dream was about to come true.

Nilesh Shaw, who owns the Willie Wonka store, near the Auckland waterfront, said, "I felt like this week was going to be the lucky week."

Shaw is now hoping that the winner will return to the shop so that he can offer his congratulations.

Saturday's $26 million Jackpot was the first division one win of the year and the sixth largest prize in New Zealand Lotto history.

Mattress Factory Syndicate Scores Powerball Win

A lottery syndicate composed of mattress factory workers from Innovate Mattress Solutions in Winfield, West Virginia, had their lottery dreams answered when they scored a $1 million US Powerball win.

Each member of the "IMS Dreamers" syndicate will receive about $57,000 and although this is not enough to warrant an early retirement the winners agree it will make life easier.

Company payroll manager, Kristen Anderson, has only been working at IMS for a few weeks and faced a long commute to work each day, in a car that only returned 12 miles to the gallon, so she has already found a good use for her Powerball winnings. "I just bought a car today," she said.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Diorama has a Lottery Theme

The Brighton Model World Exhibition opened on Friday and afforded visitors the opportunity to see a new diorama that depicts the search for a missing EuroMillions winner who purchased their winning ticket in the Brighton and Hove area earlier this year.

The ticket won £577,347.50 in the EuroMillions draw on January 17, but the ticket holder failed to come forward and claim their prize.

The new diorama, created by the Merstham Dolls House Club, has a miniature couple posing for a photograph and holding up a giant winner's check, while a paperboy distributes the news about the unclaimed ticket.

The real winner must claim their EuroMillions prize before the, July 14, deadline. The winning numbers are 19, 26, 32, 33, 42. The Lucky Star numbers are 4 and 10. Is this your ticket? If it is you should ring the National Lottery Line on 0845 910 0000.

"Very Nice People" Win Megabucks

A couple from Maine has won $3 million in last Wednesday's Megabucks lottery draw. 

The couple has chosen to remain anonymous, but they bought their winning ticket from Bob’s Neighborhood Store in Madawaska and store manager, Susan Williams, told the press, "They are very nice people and good customers."

Williams said the winners were regular Megabucks players and had already returned to the store and given her a hug, but requested her not to reveal their identity.

"They have asked us to keep their names secret, and we are respecting that," Williams stated. "They need some time to take it all in."

Big Win for Reluctant Powerball Player

A US Powerball winner from Taylors, South Carolina, claimed her prize this week and told lottery staff she never would have bought her ticket if her husband hadn't pushed her into it so they could have a chance at the advertised $425 million jackpot.

"I didn’t really want to buy one," she said, "but I handed him a dollar and he told me he needed $2 to get the ticket."

The winner's identity remains a secret, but her husband bought their ticket from the Li’l Cricket on Wade Hampton Boulevard.

On Thursday he called her at work and told her that someone in the area had won $1 million in the Wednesday night Powerball drawing. "It won’t be us," she told herself, but then she heard co-workers saying the ticket had been bought from the Li’l Cricket, so she rushed out to her car, found their ticket, and drove to the nearest lotto retailer to check their numbers.

The first five numbers matched those from the draw and the reluctant Powerball player now wishes she had given her husband an extra dollar for the PowerPlay. If she had they would have doubled their winnings to $2 million.

The big money prize from Wednesday's draw went to a Powerball player from California, who had the only ticket that matched all five numbers and the Powerball and won the entire $425 million Jackpot.

The winner has not come forward yet, but the winning ticket was bought at the Dixon Landing Chevron filling station in Milpitas, California, and the Singh family, who own the station, received a $1 million check on Thursday for selling a winning ticket.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Retired Winery Worker Giddy Over PowerBall Win

A retired winery worker who had a big US Powerball win on Wednesday admitted to lottery staff he felt so giddy with excitement when he realized he'd won he nearly fell out of his chair.

Elfred Meitzenheimer, 63, failed to get the Powerball, but successfully matched five of the numbers drawn on Wednesday night and expects to get a payout of around $1.4 million.

Meitzenheimer, who lives in California, said he already manages very well on his pension, so doesn’t really need the money, but admitted to being glad he'd won and now plans to take care of his family.

EuroMillions Superdraw in March

The next EuroMillions Superdraw will be held on Friday March 7. It will be the first Superdraw of the year, and with an estimated jackpot of £80 million many EuroMillions players will feel it was worth the wait.

The last Superdraw was on Friday November 15, 2013. It was won by a Spanish ticket holder. Lady luck seems to have favored Spanish players of late because Spain has already won more EuroMillions Jackpots than any other country this year.

The upcoming Superdraw will follow normal EuroMillions rules and if the jackpot is not claimed it will roll over to the next draw.

Frustrated Powerball Player Stages Naked Protest

Last Wednesday's massive $425 million US Powerball Jackpot was big news, but a man from Allentown, Pennsylvania, became newsworthy himself when his lottery aspirations were frustrated by a store clerk who told him the lottery machine had been switched off for the day.

The peeved Powerball player was so overcome with emotion that he stripped off his clothes and staged a protest by parading naked around the store.

Miguel M. Valeram, 27, tried to buy his ticket from the Quick Mart convenience store on  707 N. Seventh St. Allenstown, in the early hours of Thursday February 13. Rather than just walk away and play another day, the homeless man removed his clothes, donned a knit cap from one of the displays,  and began parading about, penis in hand, picking up candy bars and other items and throwing them around the store.

When store clerk, Mukesh Patel, threatened to call the police, Valeram got back into his cloths and fled, but the night was still young for the lewd protestor. He marched into the Pace Mart store, farther down the street, and demanded money from the register, but Pace Mart worker, Mohamed Moustafa, picked up a baseball bat and chased Valeram from the store.

Valeram then tried to steal a car from a neighboring filling station and by the time police arrived at the scene he was running down the street with Moustafa and the car owner still in hot pursuit.

Valera has been charged with more than a dozen offences including, open lewdness, public drunkenness, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. He is now off the streets and living in Lehigh County Prison. His bail is set at $25,000.

Friday, February 21, 2014

War for Lotto Cash Comes to an End

A long legal battle over lotto cash came to an end this week.

Five years ago Sam Haddad won $32 million in the Canada 6/49 Lotto draw and split the prize with his barber.

Three months after the June 2008, drawing Haddad's sister, Nahas, began legal proceedings, claiming that Haddad and his barber friend had agreed all three of them would play the lottery together and divide the winnings.

On Thursday Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Beaudoin discounted Nahas' claims and ruled that she pay her brother's $177,000 legal costs.

Dancing with happiness outside the court, Haddad told reporters he would never forgive his sister for the damage she has caused to their family.

"It looks good on her," Haddad said. "I’ll be waiting for her to pay every cent that I paid for my lawyer."

Washington Lottery Player Plans Save his Winnings

A Washington man who won $220,000 in the Washington Lottery Hit 5 draw claimed his prize on February 12, and said he plans to save his winnings for a rainy day.

The man wishes to remain anonymous, but he told lottery officials he has been playing the lottery for over 30 years and usually buys tickets for the Washington Lotto, Hit 5, Powerball, and Mega Millions drawings. He also admitted it was the first time he had ever won more than $10.

When asked what he considered to the best thing about a big win he said, "There's comfort in knowing that there's a cushion."

Barge Restoration Project Gets Lottery Funding

A 100-year-old canal boat should soon be restored and back in the water thanks to a £168,000 grant from the UK National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund.

The barge, called Hazel, belongs to the Wooden Canal Boat Society (WCBS) and society members have already put over 30 years of work into the restoration project.

Hazel was built in 1914 and was donated to the WCBS in 1980. The society has already invested over £133,000 in trying to restore the barge to its former glory, but the project is still a work in progress so the Big Lottery Fund windfall will come in very useful.

All the money and effort put into Hazel's restoration will also benefit a good cause because when the barge is fully restored the society intends to use it to provide canal trips to people suffering from mental health problems.

The society hopes to have Hazel fully functional by the summer, but a lot of work is still required before the dream can become a reality and WCBS founder, Chris  Leah, is anxious to get things moving.

"We need to get cracking in order to have Hazel ready by the middle of the summer and time is racing on," Leah said.

Speaking of the importance of the Big Lottery Funds contribution to the project, WCBS trustee Nicolas Lowther said, "The Big Lottery Fund award will enable Hazel to play its role in bringing a sense of well-being to an increasing number of people living with, and recovering from, depression, anxiety and the associated impacts of social isolation."

The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for distributing 40% of the money the UK National Lottery sets aside for good causes. The money is used to provide assistance to community groups and projects that are believed to have a positive impact on health, education, and the environment.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kansas Surgeon Claims Mega Millions Prize

A surgeon from Kansas who won a $1 million Mega Millions prize in December had no idea he'd won until last week when he finally got around to checking his ticket.

Orthopedic surgeon, Truett Swaim, 60, told lottery officials he doesn't expect his new found wealth will change much about his everyday life, but said he will probably work a little less, spend a few more hours on the golf course, and take some extra vacations.

Mega Millions is the biggest jackpot game in America. Jackpots start at $15 million and other prizes range from $1 to $1 million. Numbers are drawn on Tuesday and Friday at 23:00 (ET). Friday's Mega Millions game is offering players the chance to win a massive $172 million jackpot.

Powerball Win was a Long Time Coming for Iowa Man

After 20 years of playing the same numbers in the US Powerball draw a man from Iowa finally had is patience rewarded at the weekend when he bagged a $1 million prize in last Saturday's drawing.

Robert Winburn, 49, matched five of the numbers drawn, but failed to get the Powerball. He claimed his prize on Tuesday and told Lottery officials he originally chose his winning numbers by assigning numbers to each letter of the alphabet and then picking the numbers that corresponded to the letters of his last name.

Winburn has continued to place his numbers faithfully for two decades, but prior to the weekend his biggest win was just $100.

The persistent Powerball player bought his winning ticket from the Git-n-Go convenience store in Urbandale, but didn't realize his numbers had produced a sizeable win until Sunday morning when he ran them through the self-checker at his local grocery story.

When the machine confirmed he owned a winning ticket Winburn was so surprised he showed the ticket to the man standing next to him in the grocery store, telling him, "I don’t believe this." The man watched Winburn run the ticket through the machine for a second time and told him, "Sign it and get the heck out of here."

Winburn plans to buy a new car and pay off some bills, but said he intends to invest most of his winnings.

The US Powerball is a multi-state draw that offers a minimum jackpot of $40 million. Numbers are drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 22:59 (EST).

Man Steps Out for Cookies and Discovers he is a Lotto Winner

Shamus Harmon, from Salem, Oregon, was a lotto winner and never knew it until he noticed a Girl Scout selling cookies and decided he needed some cash to satisfy his sweet tooth.

When Harmon saw the girl brandishing her cookies he dashed to the nearest ATM, bought some cookies, and then decided to check if any of his lottery ticket were winners.

"I gave the person at the counter my Powerball, Mega Millions and Win for Life tickets to check," Harmon said.

When she ran the Win for Life ticket through her machine the perplexed clerk saw a message she had not seen before. She did some further checks and then told Harmon he'd won the Win for Life Jackpot.

Win for Life prizes can be taken in a one-off lump sum payment or in weekly instalments. Harmon claimed his prize on Monday chose to take it in installments of $1,000 a week for life.

Mega Millions Prize Remains Unclaimed

A $2.6 million Mega Millions prize won just before Christmas remains unclaimed.

According to California Lottery officials the ticket was purchased in December from the Square Bottle Liquor store on Naples St. in Chula Vista, San Diego.

The ticket holder successfully matched five out of the six numbers drawn on December 17, 2013, but failed to match the Mega number.

The five winning numbers were 8, 20, 14, 17 and 39. 

Are these your numbers? If so, lottery officials state you should sign the back of the ticket and claim the $2-6 million prize at the San Diego District California Lottery Office at 5656 Ruffin Rd. or call (858) 492-1700.

The next Meg Millions draw is on Friday February 21, at 23:00 (ET), and has an estimated jackpot of $172 million.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Retirement was a Long Time Coming for Lotto Winner

A baker from Lowestoft finally hung up her apron for the last time in December and retired, nearly seven months after she won £2 million with a UK National Lottery lucky dip ticket.

Jean Swatman, 63, had been clocking in for work at the Morrisons supermarket bakery for ten years, so when she won her National Lottery prize, in June 2013, she found it hard to break the habit.

"It was just something I have done all these years and I really couldn't decide what else to do," Swatman admitted.

But her son Wayne and daughter Kerry found it hard to believe she was happy to continue baking bread and filling donuts when she had such a huge amount of money sitting in the bank, so the two were forever nagging her to retire and take things easy.

Swatman remained reluctant to leave the heat of the Morrisons ovens though, and kept telling her concerned offspring, "No, I don’t want to yet."

The winter weather finally achieved what her children could not and the grandmother of six was forced to ask herself, "Do I want to get up four mornings a week to scrape the snow and ice off my car?"

Swatman decided the answer to that question was 'no' and she recently admitted, "Now I am fully retired, I don’t know how I ever found time to work."

The recent retiree said that becoming a multi-millionaire hasn't changed her. She admitted to splashing out on a new Vauxhall SUV, but still lives in the same terraced house in Lowestoft and enjoys spending time with her family.

"I haven’t personally changed, but life in general has," she said.

Florida Lottery Reports Record Sales

Sales of Florida Lottery scratch-off tickets have reached a record high. The lottery sold over $78.5 million worth of tickets last week, beating their previous weekly sales record by $4.5 million.

According to lottery officials sales of Florida Lottery scratch-off tickets have even surpassed those of the New York Lottery (the highest selling US lottery) for the last four weeks.

The reason for the increased interest in scratch-off games has been partly attributed to a spate of recent big wins, including a $3 million win, by a Miami resident; and a $1 million win in Greenacres.

The Florida Lotto Wednesday night draw also offers players the chance to win a sizable chunk of lotto cash because the jackpot rolled over at the weekend and the present jackpot is an estimated $11 million.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Quick Pick Lotto Entry Generates Fast Cash for Australian Woman

An Australian Lotto player won a $2 million prize in Saturday's Superdraw on a Quick Pick ticket she bought on impulse from the Nextra Riverlink at Riverlink Shopping Centre, Ipswich.

"I'd actually gone into the newsagency to buy a card and decided to grab a Saturday Gold Lotto entry in the weekend's $20 Million Superdraw," the winner said and admitted she was stunned when she discovered her spur of the moment decision had resulted in a first division win.

The winner wishes to remain anonymous, but told lottery representatives she intends to buy a new home.

The jackpot for Australia's Wednesday Lotto draw is $1 million, but the Saturday night draw has a jackpot of $4 million.

Superdraw Win in Western Australia

A lucky Australian Lotto player from Western Australia won $2 million in Saturdays Superdraw on a ticket purchased from the Broome Lottery Centre and News in the Kimberley region.

The winner has yet to come forward and claim their prize, but according to Broome Lottery Centre and News owner,  Nescia Hick, the local community is keen to discover the identity of the winner in their midst.

"The win has been a hot topic across town with lots of excited locals," Hick said and added she hoped the win had gone to someone who needed it.

The date of the next Superdraw has yet to be announced, but the jackpot for Wednesday's Australia Lotto drawing is an estimated $1 million.

Camelot Says National Lottery Ticket Price Hike Hasn't Affected Good Causes

The UK National Lottery has seen a drop in the amount of money raised for good causes, but lottery organizers, Camelot,  deny the drop is related to last year's 100% increase in ticket prices.

In October 2013 the price of National Lottery tickets doubled and lottery players were forced to shell out £2 if they wanted to continue to playing the game.

The statistics show that the amount of money raised for good causes in the first three months following the price hike was £121 million less than the amount raised during the same period in 2012.

Figures provided by the National Lottery Commission show that between October and December 2012 the National Lottery raised £538.1 million for good causes, but raised only £417.2 million in the three months after the increased ticket price.

Camelot says the figures are deceptive though, and claims the difference in figures is really attributable to the amount of funding available for good causes between October and December 2012 getting a boost when someone failed to claim a £64 million EuroMillions prize.

A Camelot representative stated: "The fall in returns to the good causes (Quarter 3 2013/14 versus Quarter 3 2012/13) cannot be attributed to the changes made to the National Lottery’s flagship game. On the contrary, new Lotto has rekindled player interest in the game, delivering tens of millions of pounds more in prizes to winners, and has led to immediate sales growth and a significant increase in returns to the good causes—which is exactly what it was designed to do."

He also stated a cash flow adjustment required to support the New Lotto's initial promotional launch was also partly responsible for the variance in figures.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Spain and France Continue to Hog the EuroMillions Jackpots

Friday's EuroMillions Jackpot went to a winner in Spain for the second week in a row and the third time this year, so Spanish players certainly seem to be hogging most of the good luck. France is snapping at their heels though, because two of this year's EuroMillions jackpots have already been deposited into French bank accounts. 

So far this year the EuroMillions jackpot prize has managed to evade players who live elsewhere in Europe, but it is still early days. There is still plenty of time for the rest of Europe to even up the score. The next EuroMillions drawing is on Tuesday February 18, and the present estimated jackpot stands at €15 million.

More Jackpots Rollover

Nobody matched all the numbers in Saturday's US Powerball draw so the jackpot has rolled over again and now stands at an estimated $400 million.

Friday night's Mega-Millions jackpot also rolled over so the next draw will offer a top prize of $154 million.

With big-money jackpots like these still up for grabs Powerball and Mega-Millions ticket sales may increase over the next few days and if they do the Jackpots for both draws may increase further still.

The Florida Lotto jackpot also rolled over at the weekend. At $11 million the present estimated jackpot is not in the same league as the multi-state games, but $11 million is still a life-changing amount.

The next Mega-Millions draw is on Tuesday. The numbers for Powerball and Florida Lotto will be drawn on Wednesday.

Lottery Lucky Streak Ends with a Big Win

A store clerk from Del Mar has ended a succession of smaller scratch-off ticket wins with a $1 million win on a California Lottery Scratchers ticket.

Craig Misewicz said his lucky streak began on January 20.

"I had been feeling kind of lucky and I had gone on a streak from the 20th on, where I had won a Daily Derby and a $100 Scratcher at CVS, $100 at Ralphs," Misewicz explained.

His lucky streak continued to hold good earlier this month when he bought a couple of California Gold scratch-off tickets from the Del Mar Wine Company. Misewicz works at the store and his employer, Ravi Zora, remembers the incident well because Misewicz dropped to the ground as soon as he'd finished scratching his winning ticket.

"What are you doing on the ground?" Zora asked. Misewicz told him he was unwell, but when Zora helped him to his feet Misewicz began laughing and told him, "You just picked up a millionaire."

Misewicz did his best to shun publicity, and only shared the good news with a few family and friends, but word got out anyway and he says he's already had a few people turn up at his door since the win.

Unlike many other winners, Misewicz has no intention of buying a new car or a big house. He plans to return to work and use his winnings to help others.

"I've always been a pay-it-forward kind of guy," he said.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Rags to Riches for Hungarian Lotto Winner

A 55-year-old homeless man who picked up the largest ever Hungarian lottery win, in September 2013, managed to do so without all the usual media attention associated with big lottery wins. All that changed earlier this month when he decided to make a hefty donation to a shelter for the homeless.

László Andraschek's 630 million forint (£1.7 million) lottery prize does not compare well with the size of jackpots US Powerball and Mega-Millions players are used to, but in Hungary it's a big-money prize that has enabled the former down and out to live like a king.

Unemployed and deeply in debt, the future looked bleak for Andraschek and he would probably still be living on the streets if he hadn't decided to chance his last few coins on a lottery ticket.

Andraschek, who quit drinking five years ago, was on his way to a workshop for recovering alcoholics when he made a snap decision to buy a lottery ticket.

"I had only picked six numbers and the female shop assistant reminded me that I needed to pick a seventh," Andraschek explained. "I told her to make it 24—it doesn't matter anyway."

It turned out the number mattered more than Andraschek thought because it changed his life. He paid off all his own debts and then ensured his family was also debt free, but the thoughtful winner has not forgotten that many people are still struggling to drag themselves out of difficult situations so he now intends to set up a foundation for addicts and women who have been abused by their husbands.

Lottery Cash Matched to Dating Agency

A dating and friendship agency that caters for adults with learning difficulties has been awarded a £288,000 grant from the UK National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund.

The Dates-n-Mates project is run by the charity C Change. It currently has 140 members and organizes six events each month.

Dates-n-Mates, the first project of its kind in Scotland, is now in its fifth year and offers members a variety of social get togethers including book clubs, day trips, quiz nights, and speed dating.

Joanne Purdon has worked as volunteer for over two years. "It is really rewarding seeing people make new friends," she said. "My little girl has a learning difficulty so it might help me help her in the future."

The lottery grant will ensure the project can continue to run for another five years.

Indiana Bus Driver Gets First Ticket

A bus driver from Mishawaka, Indiana, is the first person to claim one of the six $100,000 prizes from the Hoosier Lottery's $500 Frenzy Scratch-off game.

Michelle Hunt, who drives for Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation, is delighted by the unexpected win.

"It is something that you dream about for years and years," she said.

Over 500 players have managed to scratch their way to a $500 prize, but Hunt is the only person who has managed to get the top prize, so the other five winning cards are still in circulation.

Hunt now intends to set up a college fund for her grandchildren and is looking forward to being able to contribute something to charity.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Camelot Happy to "Co-Exist" with Charity Lotteries

The UK lottery operator Camelot has denied suggestions that it was attempting to get rid of charity lotteries before taking over the license for the Irish Lottery later this year.

The suggestions were made by Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming, who met with Camelot representatives last year. 

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr. Fleming told RTÉ’s News at One program that Camelot made it very clear they considered charitable lotteries to be in competition with the National Lottery and wished to get rid of them.

"This is part of an agenda for Camelot to get a clear pitch so they will have no competition out there in the scratch-card market," Fleming explained, but Camelot strongly denies the validity of Fleming's statements. 

When he was asked about the matter on Thursday, Fleming appeared to go back on much of what he previously said, stating Camelot had expressed 'concerns' about charitable lotteries, but never said it wanted to get rid of them. Fleming further stated he'd meant to say the Minister for Public Expenditure was "Trying to clear the pitch of competitors before the Government embarked on privatization." 

"Any suggestion that Camelot wants to get rid of charitable lotteries is inaccurate," a Camelot representative said. "On the contrary, Camelot is fully supportive of charitable lotteries and happily co-exists with them in the UK.

Camelot already faces stiff competition from Richard Desmond's Health Lottery. Last year the company tried and failed to get the Health Lottery's license revoked.

Historic UK Foundry Gets Lottery Funding

Harvey's Foundry in Cornwall, England has received a £4 million funds hike courtesy of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The foundry is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site (established 1779) and Harvey's Foundry Trust will use the funds to help complete the final phase of the Foundry's 10 year regeneration project.

Trust representatives stated the money will help conserve derelict Grade 2 listed buildings.

The HLF is responsible for distributing some of the funds raised by UK National Lottery Good Causes. HLF grants are awarded to projects that are designed to sustain and transform the British Heritage.

Crane Operator Picks up a Big Lotto Win

A crane operator who won $11,031,692.30 in the February 1, (Canada) Lotto 6/49 draw told staff at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation he originally thought his win was a more modest $11,000.

Donald G. Nykiforuk, from Elliot Lake, Ontario, only realized the true extent of his good fortune when he asked a store clerk to double check the ticket and the clerk told him he bagged the jackpot.

"My legs were still wobbly when I headed back to my girlfriend’s to share the good news," Nykiforuk said. He now plans to pay off a few bills and treat himself to a new snow machine.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ohio Police Worried about New Lottery Scam

Lottery scams are becoming increasingly commonplace these days and, despite all the cautionary tales available on the web and in the media, con artists continue to sucker in a frightening amount of victims. More often than not the scammers tell their victims a big lottery win is on the way, and then ask for a processing fee to release the funds or to cover up-front taxes, but police in Williamstown, Ohio, are concerned about a new scam that breaks from the norm.

According to the police report the latest scam is operated via the US mail. Victims receive a mailing from the Lincoln Financial Group informing them they have matched five numbers in the Multi-State Lottery and won $250,000. A disturbingly realistic-looking check for $3,900 is included in the mailing. This is supposedly to cover taxes of $2,600, plus insurance and handling costs of $1,300.

The enclosed letter states Lincoln Financial Group has been hired by the Multi-State Lottery Associate and entrusted with the task of notifying winners of the "USA Lottery Sweepstakes Millions" contest.

The letter also tells the recipient to expect a visit from a lottery representative, who will bring the winning check right to their door, but the claim cannot be completed until the Lincoln Financial Group receives a signature and written confirmation of the winner's mailing address.

The letter mentioned in the Williamstown police report was mailed in a Walmart envelope bearing a Canadian stamp. Anyone who receives such a mailing should contact their local police department immediately.

Australian Lotto Player Picks up a Second Win

A retired couple from Mandurah picked up their Division 1 lotto prize yesterday. The couple got lucky in the Saturday Night Lotto drawing on February 8 and won $1,027,919, but the man admitted it wasn't his first big win because he'd won a Division 1 prize 30 years ago.

"I never expected to crack it twice," he said. "The win has come at a complete surprise but I'm very happy."

The winners said they already enjoyed a pretty comfortable and enjoyable life, so planned to share their win with close family.

"But I'll buy my wife a bottle of her favorite perfume for Valentine's Day," the man added.

Missouri Lottery is Game to Help Veterans

The Missouri Lottery hopes to create a separate lottery ticket that will benefit veterans. 

Revenue generated by the proposed tickets would provide much-needed funding for Veterans' homes, but Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, D - Kansas City, has concerns about the new ticket, stating its availability may result in a reduction in funding for public schools and higher education, which are partially funded by the existing lottery games.

The Missouri House provided first round approval to the Veterans Lottery Bill (HJR 48) on Wednesday and one more vote is required before it can be moved to the Senate.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hoosier Lottery Winner Heads Back to School

A Hoosier Lottery winner from Gerogetown, Indiana, has decided to go back to school and study automotive collision repair so that he can find a better job.

Terry Spalding, 20, bought his winning Cash for Life scratch-off ticket on February 3. While he was en route to his second-shift job Spalding popped into the Georgetown Express Mart to buy a couple of energy drinks and decided to splash out an extra dollar on a lottery ticket while he was there.

Spalding got busy scratching his ticket as soon as he got back to his pickup and originally thought he'd won $500, but when he returned to the store the clerk told him the prize was $500 a week for the rest of his life.

"I got one big lump sum of lucky handed to me that day," Spalding said.

The former mold operator now has his eyes firmly set on the future, but further schooling is not his only dream. Spalding has already bought a new Volkswagen Jetta, and is now searching for an apartment with plenty of room for the large TV he intends to buy.

Spalding returned to the Express Mart on Wednesday so photographers could snap him being presented with a large check.

"It’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s huge for him," Spalding's father said. "It kind of helps him get a foot up."

Spalding's mother was also pleased about the unexpected win.  "It's a big relief," she said.  "I think it’s a blessing really."

Former Mechanic Fixes Himself up With a Mega Millions Win

A retired mechanic claimed his $1 million prize on Tuesday and told lottery officials, "It hasn't really sunk in yet."

Randy Brown from Charleston, West Virginia, successfully matched five of the numbers drawn in the Friday, February 7, US Mega Millions drawing.

"I didn't find out until Saturday when I went to the store to check my ticket and I found out as the clerk did. It is unbelievable," Brown said.

Brown bought his winning ticket from C and L Super Serve in Mallory, but he chose not to pay the extra $1 and take advantage of the Megaplier multiplier option. Had he done so his prize would have been three time the amount because the Megaplier number in Last Friday's draw was 3.

Australian Lotto Winner Vows to Help Others

A lottery winner from Sydney told officials from New South Wales Lotteries her win would enable her to give up her job and concentrate on charity work.

"I was only saying last week that I wanted to start doing some charity work," she said. "This jackpot win now means I’ll be able to make that happen."

The selfless winner wishes to remain anonymous, but she admits her $2,075,000 lotto win came as a surprise.

"I thought I’d maybe won $10 or something like that. I just can’t believe this!" she said. "I don’t know what to say.  Someone must be looking after me."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Lottery Game Causes Trouble in Texas

A lawmaker in Austin, Texas, has asked the attorney general to examine a proposal for a new State lottery game and determine if it would be legal under constitutional law.

In traditional lottery draw-type games such as Powerball and Mega Millions the value of the prize available usually increases in line with the amount of tickets sold and if the jackpot fails to be won it rolls over to the next draw to provide players with a larger prize.

The new 'Texas Triple Chance' game would make a break from tradition and allow the lottery to keep jackpots instead of carrying them forward, but if tickets sales slumped the lottery could be left severely out of pocket.

Texas State Senator Bob Deuell has voiced has reservations about the legal implications of the new game and requested Attorney General Greg Abbot look into the matter.

Lottery expert Dawn Nettles has also voiced concerns about the game. 

"Instead of a lottery being a guaranteed successful business as a lottery is designed to be, with this game the Texas lottery has put itself into a precarious situation in that they may lose, they may win," Nettles said.

According to Lottery Commission representative Kelly Cripe the estimated Texas Triple Chance payout rate would be similar to that offered for the existing Texas Lottery games All or Nothing and Pick 3.

"Although payouts may fluctuate from drawing to drawing over time the games are statistically designed to pay out at a particular payout percentage," Cripe said, but pointed out the lottery does not expect to start selling Texas Triple Chance tickets until after the attorney general has finished his examination of the game.

Powerball Jackpot Nears $3 million

The US Powerball jackpot rolled over again on Saturday so the next draw already boasts and incredible $284 million jackpot.

Powerball players in eight states managed to match five numbers in the last draw and won $1 million each, but none of them successfully matched the Powerball so the big win was saved for another day.

Powerball is a multi-state game with draws on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The game has a minimum jackpot of $40 million, but the present jackpot is eight times that amount so a last minute buying frenzy could push it even higher. The next draw is on Wednesday night at 22:59 (EST).

Florida Lottery Sends Lottery Losers to Las Vegas

Mona Smith of Tavares, Lake County, is being treated to a free trip to Las Vegas courtesy of the Florida Lottery's Forever Fabulous Second Chance Promotion.

To be eligible for entry into the second chance promotion players need to have purchased a losing Flamingo Scratch-Off ticket. 

Smith is one of 10 grand prize winners to be awarded the all-in package that includes all airfare costs, ground transportation, hotel accommodation for 3 nights, and a $1,000 Flamingo® food and beverage credit. 

Smith and the other 9 grand prize winners will also receive tickets to the Donny & Marie Show and $250 spending money.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Retired Nurse Falls for Mega Millions Scam

Retired Nurse, Doris Galinas, 84, is one of the latest victims to be taken in by heartless fraudsters. "They called and said I won a big prize from the Mega Millions and there were two cars," Galinas said, but her high expectations of a surprise lottery windfall came at a price.

"Taxes. You have to pay for the taxes, the state taxes. It never stopped," Galinas recalled. The only way she could pay the bogus taxes was by dipping into her life savings and she did so again and again.

When her available funds began to grow short the tricksters suggested Galinas refinance her home. She did so and continued to use post office services to send the payments, but the retirees frequent visits began to make post office workers suspicious.

"We were concerned for her coming in so often mailing via Express," postal clerk, Daniel Stewart said, but when Steward and his fellow workers suggested she may be being scammed Galinas always insisted she was fine.

"They would say we just want to make sure you're not being scammed and I said oh no I'm not being scammed," Galinas admitted.

Eventually the worried clerks were forced to share their concerns with postal inspectors, who finally managed to put a halt to the payments.

"They [the scammers] have absolutely no mercy when it comes to exploiting our senior citizens," US Postal Inspector, Michael Gendron said. "So the best thing we can possibly do is talk about it, so that everybody knows how the schemes operate."

Galinas' payments to the thieves totaled an incredible $100,000.

EuroMillions Winner Bounces Back After Marriage Split

Three months after his wife Gillian left him for a car dealer, EuroMillions winner Adrian Bayford is taking consolation from female bouncer, Marta Jarosz.

At the time of their £148 million pound win, in August 2012, the Bayfords swore the money would not change them, but blamed their recent split on the "stress" of winning.

Although fitness fanatic Jarosz does not live far from Bayford's luxury home the two are believed to have first met when Bayford visited a local nightspot where Jarosz was working on the door.

Close friend, Richard Hudspith, confirmed the couple had known each other for a while and described their relationship as "friendly".

Florida Woman Scoops her Second Lottery Win

Florida Lottery scratch-off games have proved to be just the ticket for Villages resident, Tommye Bucklin. The seventy-year-old's scratching habit earned her a cool $1 million in October 2012 and the lucky lady has just scratched out a second big win of $500,000.

Bucklin's first win came from the Florida Lottery's 25th Anniversary Edition Millionaire Scratch-off game and she took her winnings as a one-off lump-sum payment of $824,611.19.

Her latest lottery windfall comes courtesy of a $20 Gold Rush Tripler ticket she purchased from at the Winn-Dixie at 944 Bichara Boulevard in Lady Lake.

Monday, February 10, 2014

UK Mining Museum Receives Lottery Funding

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £9,932 to the Woodend mining museum in Reedley Hallows, Lancashire. The much needed funding will be used to pay for essential maintenance and to improve the available facilities.

The roof of the museum is in urgent need of repair so that will take precedence, but some of the funds will be used to pay for internal tiling and a new security system.

The museum first opened its doors in 2012 after farm owners Harry and Carole Johnson discovered a number of old mining tools and implements while they were redeveloping the farm, built on land that used to belong to the Woodend Colliery until it closed in 1959.

The Johnsons were delighted when they heard their application for lottery funding had been accepted. 

"It’s fantastic news," Mrs. Johnson said. "The roof has needed doing for quite a while. We've got a very thin and flimsy roof at the moment. We've been crossing our fingers that it will survive the winter with the gales we've been having."

The Johnsons hope the new roof will also make the museum feel warmer inside and they plan to paint it white to help make it a little brighter inside as well.

The museum will have to be closed until the work is completed, but should be accepting visitors again by the end of March.

The HLF is responsible for distributing a share of the funds raised by UK National Lottery Good Causes. HLF grants are awarded to projects designed to sustain and transform the British Heritage.

Former Coal Miner Wins Mega Millions Prize

Virginia Lottery officials are still waiting for a US Mega Millions winner to claim his prize.

The ticket was purchased from C&L Super Serve in Logan County, West Virginia, and won $1 million in the Friday night draw. Store owner Larry Trogdon said the winner, an out of work coal miner, returned to the store and checked his ticket on Saturday morning.

The win will not be official until the winner presents his ticket at the lottery's headquarters in Charleston.

Mega Millions is the biggest jackpot game in America. Jackpots start at $15 million and other prizes range from $1 to $1 million. The next draw is on Tuesday at 23:00 (EST) and has an estimated jackpot of $122 million.

Lottery Kiosk Owner Makes a Stand Against Card Charges

A Canadian Man who runs a lottery kiosk has chosen to decline credit cards rather than allow his customers to face additional charges imposed by their card providers.

"I get a lot of people that use credit cards," Tony Fermin said, "and I tell them you could get charged $2.50 to 5 bucks."

The extra charges are imposed because many card providers penalize gambling by treating the transaction as a cash advance.

The Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) consider the charges unfair.

"We’ve made the argument that purchasing a lottery ticket is more like purchasing a ticket for another form of entertainment, but some [banks] have accepted that argument and some have rejected it,"  WCLC representative, Andrea Marantz stated.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though, because the Lottery Corporation says some customers have complained and had the charges reversed.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Birmingham Man Finds Winning Ticket in the Trash

A window fitter from Birmingham, England, had to speed home last week when he realized he'd tossed out a lottery ticket worth £20,000.

Gerald Connor, 57, binned his UK National Lottery ticket when his numbers failed to come up in the Saturday night draw. Later on while he was out an about Connor remembered he'd entered his numbers in a promotion called Second Chance Sunday, run by The Sun newspaper.

Beating the trash collectors by just a matter of hours, Connor rushed home, dug deep into the trash, and found the ticket at the bottom of the black bag.

Largest Urban Nature Park in Scotland Receives Lottery Funding

A plan to create the largest urban nature park in Scotland has moved a little closer to fruition thanks to a £25,000 cash boost from The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Seven Lochs Wetland Park is situated in a greenbelt area between the urban districts of Millerston and Easterhouse in Glasgow, and Stepps, Glenboig and Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire.

The ambitious project will contain five nature reserves, Iron Age archaeological sites, Provan Hall (one of Glasgow's oldest buildings) and locally protected lochs, wetlands and woodlands.

Fresh visitor facilities will be created, and a variety of activities are  being planned to help people learn more about the area's heritage while also having a good time.

Scott Ferguson, development officer with Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green network partnership, said: "This HLF award is fantastic news for the Seven Lochs area. It recognizes it is a great place for heritage and wildlife and that the area should be protected and improved so more people can enjoy and learn about it."

Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, expressed an equally enthusiastic view of the project. "HLF is ­delighted to help move the Seven Lochs project ­forward as it brings real cohesion to the natural and built heritage of the region, reconnecting people with the ­natural heritage which, for many, lies overlooked on the doorstep," McLean said.

The HLF is responsible for distributing a share of the funds raised by UK National Lottery Good Causes. HLF grants are awarded to projects designed to sustain and transform the British heritage.

Lottery Winners Treat Youngsters to a Week at a Farm

UK National Lottery winners Ray and Barbara Wragg are treating a group of 12 school children to week at Whirlow Hall Farm in Sheffield.

The couple had their £7.6 million win 13 years ago and since then have organized yearly visits to the farm. This year they have chosen pupils from Arbourthorne School.

"They will be spending a week at the farm doing some jobs," Ray said. "The aim is to give children who might not otherwise get the opportunity the chance to learn about the countryside."

The children, who are all aged between eleven and twelve years old, will learn how to collect eggs, ride ponies, and help with the other farm animals.

The Wraggs are famous for their generosity and have already donated most of their winning to good causes.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pennsylvania Lottery Winners May Have to Pay Back Taxes

A new bill may result in lottery winners being billed for back taxes.

House Bill 1489 would enable an instant background check on anyone winning $2,500 or more on any of the Pennsylvania Lottery's games, including the multi-state games Powerball and Mega Millions. If the check revealed the winners owed any back taxes the full amount owing would be immediately deducted from their winnings.

At the moment Pennsylvania Lottery winners are only taxed on their winnings. The winner, the lottery, and the retailer who sold the winning ticket add their details to a standard claim form and the lottery shares the details with the IRS. Any winnings over $2,500 in a fiscal year are taxable.  When the winnings exceed $5,000 the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue deducts the relevant amount of federal income tax, but there is no initial assessment of past tax issues.

If introduced, the new bill would also permit the Department of Public Welfare to check if winners are receiving any form of public assistance and make a quick decision on whether their new circumstances make them ineligible for further help.

Under present law the Public Welfare and Revenue departments are only permitted to check if lottery winners owe any child support, but if it is successfully implemented the new bill will grant them additional powers, allowing them to deduct any money owed (before back taxes).

Bill 1489 was passed by the House last week and will now be placed before the state senate