Monday, March 31, 2014

Big Lottery Fund Assists County Durham Community Projects

The UK National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund has awarded a £10,000 grant to a college in Durham so that the college can help provide armed service veterans and early service leavers with valuable training to help them find work.

The project at Finchale Training College is one of several projects in the area that have received funding from the Big Lottery Fund's Awards for All scheme and college principal David Etheridge was delighted when he heard the college's bid for funding had been successful.

"We're really grateful for this Big Lottery Funding which will enable us to support veterans on an individual basis to obtain the skills and qualifications they need, to gain the employment they want," Etheridge said. "By working with employers we plan to help participants secure jobs in a range of fields, from the security industry to working offshore on oil rigs."

The Easington-based Life Mapping Community Interest Company has also received cash injection from lottery funds and intends to use their £9,900 grant to help fund a community arts project where members of the community will pool their talents to create a mosaic.

Project coordinator Kelly Youngs said: "We’ve recently run a similar project in Wheatley Hill and it was a great success. It really brought people together and got residents who were socially isolated and lonely for various reasons out and about and increased their confidence hugely."

Each year the Big Lottery distributes 40% of the money the UK National Lottery set aside for good causes. Their Awards for All scheme provides grants of up to £10,000 to projects that can improve local communities.

Illinois Lottery Player Claims St Patrick's Day Prize

A forty-six-year-old man from Swansea, Illinois, felt like a million dollars on Saturday when he was presented with the $1 million prize he won in the Illinois Lottery's St. Patrick's Day Millionaire Raffle.

Electrician, Delbert May, discovered he was a winner on March 18, when he went online and checked his numbers and admitted he originally thought his eyes may be playing trick on him.

"I looked at them [the numbers] quite a few times," May said. "Then I started breathing hard—I kind of freaked out. Then I called my mom."

At first May's mother thought he was playing a trick on her until the tone of his voice convinced her he was in earnest.

May picked up his check at the MotoMart convenience store where he purchased his winning ticket.

After state and federal taxes May will retain $700,000 of his winnings and intends to invest most of the money.

The MotoMart will receive a retailer bonus of $10,000 for selling winning ticket.

OLG Keeps Identity of Lotto Max Winner Under Wraps

Somebody won the $48 million Canada Lotto Max Jackpot on Friday night and checked their ticket on Saturday afternoon, but lottery organizers, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), won't provide any further information until their "true winner" process has been completed.

Whenever a winning ticket is scanned the machine automatically informs the OLG. In this case the OLG were notified within a matter of hours, but OLG representative Dita Kuhtey said it can sometimes be weeks before players scan their tickets.

"Every player is different," Kuhtey said.

If the ticket is scanned by a retailer and a big win is detected the machine indicates it with ringing bells and flashing lights. The retailer then asks the winner to wait in the store. Moments later the OLG ring the store and tell the winner how to claim their prize.

The OLG expect to make an announcement about their latest big winner later in the week.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lotto New Zealand's Policy of Continued Improvement Pays Off

In an announcement made earlier today New Zealand's Internal Affairs Minister, Peter Dunne, stated the New Zealand Lottery has been internationally recognized by the World Lottery Association (WLA) for its commitment to providing lottery players with a safe gaming environment.

The WLA currently represents the interests of over 140 lotteries from all over the world, but lotteries must adhere to strict quality guidelines (set by the WLA) before they can secure WLA membership.

There are four levels to the WLA's Responsible Gaming Framework, with Level 4 being the highest grade of certification available.  Lotto New Zealand's gaming programme was awarded Level 2 status in 2009 and the lottery's continued persistence to improving their products and service has resulted in them being elevated to Level 3.

"Lotto New Zealand provides safe lottery and gaming products that allow New Zealanders to play and win while contributing money back to the community," Dunne said. "This international certification is a testament to the focus that Lotto New Zealand places on providing a gaming environment that encourages responsible play and on continually improving the services they provide their players."

Recent improvements to the lottery's responsible gaming programme include, problem gambling training for lotto retailers and additional information for lottery players.

A large proportion of lottery funds is reinvested in local communities and last year over $200 million was transferred to the Lottery Grants Board and used to support organization such as the New Zealand Film commission and Sport New Zealand as well as over 3,000 smaller projects.

"Lotto New Zealand is to be congratulated in receiving this international endorsement that recognizes this high practice standard and contributions," Dunne said. 

Spain Grabs Another EuroMillions Jackpot

Friday's €25,329,483 EuroMillions jackpot was scooped by a player in Spain. The previous week the jackpot was claimed by ticket-holder in Switzerland and the week before that a Mechanic from the UK won €129,384,564, but with four jackpots already in the bag 2014 is proving to be a very successful year for Spain.

The next EuroMillions drawing is on Tuesday and has an estimated jackpot of £12 million, but the EuroJackpot draw offers players richer pickings this week because Friday's drawing has an estimated jackpot of €56 million.

The EuroJackpot has not been won since January 10, when a ticket holder matched the five main numbers and two powerball numbers require to win the €17 million prize. The succession of rollovers that followed has allowed the jackpot to grow unusually large. The previous record for a EuroJackpot jackpot was set on April 12, 2013, when a ticket-holder won €45 million. The present jackpot beats this by an incredible €11 million.

Lotto Skeptics Win Major Prize

A group of healthcare workers from Surrey, British Columbia, picked up their (Canada) Lotto Max Maxmillions prize earlier this week and admitted to being skeptical when they were initially informed about the win.

The syndicate of co-workers won their $1 million prize in one of the Maxmillions drawing held on March 14, but the ticket was forgotten about until a week later when syndicate member, Irene Wong, ran it through a self-checker and discovered the good news.

But when Wong began ringing the rest of the group many of them thought she was playing a trick. "I had to bring the slip into work the next day to prove to them I wasn't lying," Wong said.

The prize will be split 17 ways and each syndicate member will receive $58,823.17.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Great Grandmother Picks Up Great Big Lottery Check

Eighty-one-year-old Joan Provost of South Glens Falls visited the New York Lottery Headquarters on Friday to claim a $7.5 million prize and told lottery staff she intended to share the cash with her five children.

Provost secured her lottery windfall on a scratch-off ticket she bought from a Price Chopper supermarket she passed on her way home from baby-sitting her great-grandson and her words from earlier that evening turned out to be eerily accurate.

"I was baby-sitting my great-grandson," Provost recalled, "and I said, ‘When I leave, I’m going to get a lottery ticket and if I win, I’m going to help all of you."

Minutes later she was holding a winning ticket in her hand.

Bereaved California Man Believes his Dead Wife Arranged Lottery Win

A California lottery player who had sizable win the day after his wife died of a heart attack believes his lost love arranged the win from the other side so that he could take care of their family.

Marysville resident, Timothy McDaniel, 55, lost his wife last Saturday. The following day he won $650,000 on a California Lottery Lucky for Life scratch-off ticket and is convinced the money is a gift from his dead wife.

"I think she just kind of sent me this money so I could continue taking care of the [grand] kids," McDaniel explained.

"Everything happens for a reason, and this is the break I needed," McDaniel added. "I'm going to keep on working and living my life the same I always have. The only difference is I have a big family, and now if anybody needs anything, I can help them out."

Three Big Wins in a Month for Virginian Couple

It takes a hefty slice of luck to win the lottery once in a lifetime. Anyone who has two big wins is usually considered very lucky indeed, but to win the lottery three times! That's rare indeed and one [super] lucky couple from Portsmouth, Virginia, has not only achieved this remarkable feat, but done it all within a month.

Lady Luck first came knocking on Calvin and Zatera Spencer's door on March 12, 2014, when their US Powerball numbers scooped them a $1 million win.

Then on March 26, Lady Luck delivered as second helping of good luck when Calvin won another $50,000 with 10 winning tickets in the Virginia Lottery's Pick 4 game. Such a lucky streak is almost unheard of, but the cherry on the cake came the very next day when Calvin popped into a 7-Elven store and decided to test his luck with a Virginia Lottery $100 Million Cash Extravaganza Scratch-off ticket. He won another $1million and told his wife, "Baby, we did it again!"

Players who win the $100 Million Cash Extravaganza game's top level prizes can either choose to take their cash in annuity payments, spread over 30 years, or opt for a one time lump sum payment of $681,000 before taxes.  Calvin opted for the one-time payment and warned Virginia Lottery officials, "We’re not finished yet."

"I haven’t seen anything like it in my 12 years here," said lottery spokesman John Hagerty.  "People in the office couldn't believe it was them when they showed up with the winning ticket."

Friday, March 28, 2014

Misplaced Ticket Pulls in $1 million Win

A couple from Downer's Grove, Illinois, claimed their $1 million Mega Millions prize on Thursday after a frantic hunt for their misplaced ticket.

Dave and Cathy Seiden matched five of the winning numbers in the March 18 drawing, but never thought to check their ticket until one of Cathy's work colleagues told her someone in the area had failed to claim a major prize.

After she bought the ticket from the Jewel-Osco supermarket in Woodridge Cathy gave it to her husband for safekeeping, but when she asked him where it was he was forced to admit he had no idea so they had to "tear the house apart" in search of the missing ticket. They eventually found it amongst a pile of papers and were amazed to discover they were the missing winners.

The couple now plans to set the money aside for their children's college fund and keep playing the lottery as normal, but with one major change.

"From now on, all tickets go through me and they go to the magnet on the fridge," Cathy said.

SuperEnalotto Loser Hopes to be a Winner in Court

A woman from Salavterra, Italy, who failed to win the SuperEnalotto jackpot six years ago is now hoping to make €50,000 by suing the Italian broadcasting Company RAI.

Unemployed mother of two, Caterina Gentile, believes the RAI owe her money for damages because the station announced the wrong winning numbers for a SuperEnalotto drawing in November 2008. At the time Gentile was stunned to hear her numbers announced and believed she had won €34 million.

Gentile's winning feeling left her moments later when the announcer apologized and said he'd read out the numbers from the previous draw by mistake, so the lotto loser is suing the station for "shock, anxiety and depression".

The RAI previously offered to pay her €18,000 in compensation, and also said they would reimburse her legal fees. Gentile rejected the offer, but her demands for more money may prove to be a costly gamble because in order to improve her case she will have to ask the RAI for a recording of the show.

A verdict is expected to be reached later next month.

The SuperEnalotto is Italy's most popular lottery draw. The jackpot starts at €1.3 million and continues to grow—without a cap—with every rollover until someone matches the six numbers necessary to win. In 2010 the jackpot remained unclaimed for a mind-bending nine months and grew to €177.8 million before it was finally won in the October of that year.

SuperEnalotto draws take place every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 19:00 (GMT). The present jackpot is €10.2 million.

Massachusetts Lottery to Launch $30 Tickets

The Massachusetts Lottery will launch a new instant ticket next month and at $30 a play it will be their most expensive ticket to date.

The "World Class Millions" game will offer a top prize of $15 million and pay out over $600 million in prizes.

Massachusetts Lottery Executive Director, Beth Bresnahan, believes many players prefer to take a chance on the more costly games because the payouts are so high. The new game's prize payout is 80.7%.

Thirteen other states already have $30 tickets and the New Hampshire Lottery launched a $25 ticket earlier this month; so high-priced games are nothing new and the Florida Lottery's two $25 games have proved to be their best-sellers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Airport Takes a Chance on the Lottery

Missouri Lottery ticket vending machines will soon be installed in Kansas City International Airport's Terminal B.

The lottery has just finalized the deal with the airport vendor, HMSHost, and expects to have their machines in place sometime in April.

Missouri Lottery spokeswoman, Susan Goedde, feels the agreement provides a win-win situation that will benefit both the lottery and airport visitors.

 "We are very excited about this new partnership with KCI," Goedde said. "We are always looking for new locations to sell our products, and KCI seemed like a perfect fit. We think airport patrons will find it to be a fun and entertaining way to pass the time while they wait for their plane."

KCI officials stress the arrangement is between the lottery and HMSHost, but state the agreement was vetted by the City Hall.

Aviation Department director Mark VanLoh said: "It's another one of those amenities that passengers would like, and we are happy to be able to work with the Missouri Lottery and our concession provider Host."

Winning tickets will be redeemable at any of the airport concessions operated by HMSHost and vendors will be reimbursed by the lottery. When larger jackpots are won HMSHost and the Aviation Department will also take a share of the proceeds.

Goedde said the lottery is unable to estimate what the potential sales may be because the airport is a completely new venue, but said she expected the arrangement to be ' very successful'.

Hoosier Lottery Winner Couldn't Believe His Luck

A Hoosier lottery Player from Kokomo, Indiana, picked up a check for $83,000 on Monday and told lottery staff he still had difficulty believing he'd won and admitted to checking his ticket 10 times.

Retiree Robert Briscoe's Quick Pick ticket matched all five numbers in last Sunday's Cash 5 drawing.

"I kept saying, 'I know this ticket can’t be right. I don’t have this kind of luck," Briscoe recalled, but once the check was in his hand he was forced to admit he was wrong. He does have that kind of luck and now intends to straighten out his finances and look into buying a new home.

Second Big Win For Ontario Man

A man from London Ontario became a $1 million richer last week when he won the Guaranteed $1 Million Prize offered in the March 19 Lotto 6/49 drawing.

Retiree, Robert McPhail, bought his winning ticket from the Shoppers Drug Mart. He only visited the store to pick up a newspaper and some chocolates for his wife, but felt a sudden compulsion to buy a lottery ticket.

"I bought two Lotto 6/49 tickets and one ended up being a big winner,” McPhail said; but this isn’t the first time the grandfather of four has won a large Lotto 6/49 prize. In 1992 he shared a $571,157 jackpot with 7 other players.

"I always thought I would win again," McPhail said. "I just didn’t know when. My family members keep rubbing me for good luck!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Australian Traffic Cop Charged with Pocketing Lottery Money

An officer from the North Brisbane Traffic Branch has been accused of pocketing the lottery syndicate money he was supposed to use to buy tickets.

Sergeant Scott Alexander Barker (suspended) appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with one count of fraud.

Barker began collecting lottery money from his colleagues in February 2003 and is accused of pocketing a total of $15,000 in contributions.

Prosecutor Chris Patterson requested the case be adjourned for two months to allow the police department enough time to complete their investigation.

Magistrate Wendy Cull released Barker on bail and ordered him to appear for mention of the charge on May 28.

New York Lottery Winners Plan "Crazy Thing"

A couple who won the top prize in the New York Lottery's "20X the Cash" game has agreed to do one 'crazy thing' with their winnings and have settled on a second honeymoon in Hawaii.

Ronald Nau, 63, and his wife Diane have been married for 42 years and when the New York Lottery's Yolanda Vega presented them with their check Nau joked his wife only married him for his money, but it took her 42 years to get it.

Tickets for the "20X the Cash" game cost $5 and Nau's unplanned investment would have been worth $1 million if he had chosen to take it annuity payments, but Nau decided to take the lump sum option and walked away with $555,912.

Canada's Lotteries Unite to Target Younger Players

Provincial lottery agencies in Canada are uniting to combat a shared problem: a decline in tickets sales to younger players.

Statistics gathered by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation reveal that, of all Ontarian residents who play the lottery at least once a week, only 13% are under 35. The average mean age of weekly players is 52.

The Western Canada Lottery Corporation covers the territories and three Prairie provinces. Their spokeswoman, Andrea Marantz, said: "We know that this young adult demographic has changed and that the kinds of games we're offering—the big lotto games—are not necessarily as appealing to today's younger adults."

Canada's Interprovincial Lottery Corporation represents all the provincial and territorial lottery agencies and they are now seeking consultants who can help them 'brainstorm' ideas for a new lottery game, similar to Lotto 6-49, that will be attractive to younger players.

"Lottery is like any other kind of consumer product, Marrantz said, "We have to expend some effort in research and development to just keep products relevant."

But the lotteries may have a tough job on their hands. Many younger players are not prepared to invest their money in lottery dreams that may not come true.

Sally MacDonald, 32, works for the social services in Winnipeg and belongs to the lotteries target age group, but she says the odds of a lottery win are too long.

"There's no results from it," MacDonald said. "I've watched my dad play 6-49 for years and years, and he's maybe won $500."

MacDonald believes the internet provides many better forms of entertainment than the lottery. She'd rather do Buzzfeed quizzes.

"But something like a lottery ticket, unless you're winning, you're not getting entertained," she said.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rollover in Florida Pushes Jackpot up to $25 Million

Nobody managed to match all six winning numbers in last Saturday night's Florida Lotto drawing so it was a rollover, the jackpot grew a little bigger, and players now have a $25 million jackpot to aim for on Wednesday night.

The second tier proved to be lucrative for 27 ticket-holders who successfully matched five numbers and won $5,456.50 each. The third tier produced 1,941 winners who will each receive  $65.50 (for matching four numbers), and down in the fourth tier 39,440 tickets matched three numbers to win $5 each.

Since their first drawing in 1988 the Florida Lotto has created over 1,200 millionaires and paid out over $37 billion in prizes. Drawings are held on Wednesday and Saturday at 23:15 (ET).

Virginian Lottery Player is a Double Winner

Glinda Salgado was exited to hear the news that someone had won $3 million with a ticket bought from her family's store in Hendon, Virginia, but she never dreamed she owned the ticket that matched five of the US Mega Millions numbers drawn March 14, so it was week before she got around to checking her ticket.

"I didn't think it was me, so I didn't check my ticket," Salgado said.

Mega Millions players normally win $1 million for matching five numbers, but Salgado invested an extra dollar and added the Megaplier to her ticket. The Megaplier number drawn that day was '3' so Salgado's winnings were trebled, but her good luck doesn't end there. She will also receive a $10,000 retailer's bonus for selling a winning ticket at her family's store.

Former Bodyguard Claims EuroMillionaire Wanted to Be More Than Just Friends

Adrian Bayford's former bodyguard has revealed the EuroMillions winner proposed to her just days before he asked his current fiancée, Samantha Burbidge, to take a trip down the aisle with him.

Bayford first met Marta Jarosz when she was working on the doors at a local public house. He immediately asked her to become his personal bodyguard and rumors of a romantic involvement were quick to ensue, but Jarosz and Bayford both stated they were just friends.

Jarosz, who is no longer in Bayford's employ, is now stating the millionaire declared his love for her shortly after she began working for him. Jarosz already had a boyfriend so she shunned Bayford's advances, and when she declined his invitation to go travelling with him she says Bayford sent her a text message telling her he was taking someone else [Burbridge] instead.

Jarosz also claims Bayford sent her a text message from the Maldives, informing her 'I would marry you' and later sent her a Facebook message stating: 'I would marry you no probs. I always wanted you as a girlfriend. Would you have married me?'

Jarosz said 'no'.

Two days later Bayford announced his engagement to Burbridge and shortly afterwards Jarosz was informed that there was no longer any more work for her to do.

Bayford has declined to comment on his former minder's allegations, but Jarosz's boyfriend is not so tight lipped. "Adrian is a lonely man and thinks his money can get him whatever he wants," he said.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fortune Cookies Work Their Lotto Magic Again

Earlier this month a 75-year-old US Powerball player from New York won $2 million using the numbers she found inside a fortune cookie. It has now emerged that a Mega-Millions player also attributes her lottery success to fortune cookie numbers.

Merces Goncalves, from Jose, California, had been using her fortune cookie numbers for such a long time her husband was always joking the amount of money she spent on lotto tickets could fund an annual trip to Portugal, but he was forced to agree the money had been well spent when Goncalves won $400,000 in the March 4, Mega Millions drawing.

The Goncalves  are now busy planning the Hawaiian honeymoon they could not afford when they got married 52 years ago.

Jacksonville Man Says No to Fraud

Unscrupulous lotto fraudsters regularly try and fleece lotto hopefuls by telling them they have won a large prize and then demanding a fee before the prize can be released. The elderly are often particularly at risk, but one lotto fraudster met his match when he rang up 78-year-old Elroy Hinton.

Hinton, from Jacksonville, Florida, was surprised when he received a phone call assuring him he had won over $5 million in a Texas Mega Millions lottery drawing, but when the mystery caller told Hinton he would need to pay a processing fee of $350 the old-timer got wise to the trickster and realized it was scam.

"I just kind of listened to him for a while," Hinton said. "I told him 'You have an advantage on me because you call my number, you have my name.' And he said, 'You can trust me.'"

But Hinton was having none of it. "I told him, 'Why don't you send me the money and I'll send you $350 and that would be my trust.'"

In this case the fraudster's lies and empty promises failed to profit him, but each year a startling amount of people fall for such scams.

Jacksonville Police Sgt. Daniel Franklin said: "These things happen constantly. There's not really a time of year or special event that sparks this, either. I don't know how they [fraudsters] get hold of people, or how they choose a number, but luckily he [Hinton] knew this was a scam."

Hinton's advice to anyone who receives such a call: "Just hang up. That's about the best thing, because if someone can offer that kind of money, you know they can take care of the taxes and other expenses."

Switzerland Hauls in EuroMillions Jackpot

Most of this year's EuroMillions jackpots have been claimed by players in Spain and France, and a player in the UK recently scooped the second biggest win of the year and picked up a check for €129,384,564. The rest of Europe has so far been sadly neglected when it comes to jackpot prizes. All that changed on Friday when a EuroMillions player from Switzerland matched the five numbers and two powerballs required to win the €25,493,153 jackpot.

The last time Switzerland claimed a notable Euromillions win was August 23, 2013, when a Swiss ticket, purchased by an anonymous player from the Canton of Valais, won the entire €93,948,087 jackpot.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Time is Running Out for Mega Millions Winner

A US Mega Millions player in Michigan will lose their chance to pick up a $250,000 winner's check if they don't claim their prize by the end of the month.

The winning ticket was purchased March 29, 2013, at the Southend Market on Saginaw St., Flint. The winning numbers are 25, 31, 36, 46, and 53. The Gold Mega Ball number is 21.

Speaking earlier this week, market owner Issa Yacoub said he believes the winner is unlikely to claim their prize. If they don't Yacoub will lose out too because he will not receive the $2,000 reward due to him for selling a winning ticket.

"I believe probably somebody played it here and threw it in the garbage," Yacoub said. "I don't think they will ever find it. There's no way somebody would win and not claimed it by now."

Time is running out, but there is still a chance someone may yet claim the prize and Michigan Lottery representative, Jeff Holyfield said: "If someone finds it, the first thing they should do is contact us. As long as we have the ticket in our hands by 16:45 [March 31] the quarter-million dollars will be paid out."

The $250,000 prize is one of the largest prizes to go unclaimed in the state of Michigan, but it is pennies in comparison to the $400 million Mega Millions jackpot that was won by two tickets last Tuesday and both prizes are still waiting to be claimed.

New Zealand Lotto Player Scoops Big Win

A woman from Wanaka, New Zealand, visited the New Zealand Lotto headquarters in Auckland on Wednesday and felt like $1 million dollars when she handed her ticket to lottery staff. She had successfully matched six of the numbers drawn on Saturday, March 17, and become Wanaka's most successful lotto player to date, but has opted to remain anonymous.

The winner bought her lucky ticket from Wanaka New World Supermarket and had her leisurely Sunday morning in bed interrupted when her partner told her someone in Wanaka had won the Lotto.

''So I thought: 'All right, I may as well check my ticket','' the winner recalled. "I had all six numbers on one row, so I called him [her partner] in and told him we'd won. He knew I was serious; it's not the kind of thing I'd joke about.''

The winner and her partner intend to continue working, but she admitted it may not be too long before they retire. "Winning Lotto will make that easier," she said.

Last Minute Purchase Produces Lotto Loot

A family from Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, won $1 million for matching all six numbers in the Australian Lotto's Wednesday night drawing and it was all thanks to an empty cereal box.

The family has chosen to remain anonymous and told lottery staff they had not been planning to buy a ticket, but had been forced to visit the Boulevard Newsagency when they discovered they had run out of cereal and decided to buy a ticket while they were there.

They watched the draw at home and marked off the numbers as they were pulled from the machine.

"The numbers started getting crowded on my ticket while I was circling them and I thought, 'this is looking good'," one of them said.

The family has already racked up a few previous division 2 wins and always believed it was only a matter of time before they hit the big one.

"I'm a committed Lotto player and I was determined to win, we are very happy," one of them said and the serial winners admitted they plan to continue playing, and are hoping for a further big win.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lottery Fever at Dunkin' Donuts

The manager of a BP Station and Dunkin' Donuts in Broomall, Pennsylvania, is hoping the news that his store sold a $1 million-winning US Porwerball ticket will bring in some extra custom.

The ticket in question matched five of the numbers drawn on Saturday, March 15, and quickly became a hot topic of conversation among local residents.

Venktash Shah is not sure which member of his staff sold the winning ticket, but he is convinced the news of the big win will cause more lottery players to visit his store.

The owner of the winning ticket has yet to claim their prize, but Shah remains confident his prediction will come true. "People will come," he reaffirmed earlier this week.

"I came by because my son told me they sold a big winner in here," one lotto player admitted, helping to prove the truth of Shah's words.

But not all Shah's customers agree that the sale of a $1 million ticket is such a good omen.

Nurse Maeve Milligan visits the store almost every day, usually accompanied by friends from her nursing job. "We stop here on the way to work all the time," Milligan said, but then added she feared the odds were against a second big winner being sold at the store.  "I feel like I lost my chance," she sighed.

If Shan has become infected with lottery fever himself the symptoms are only mild. When asked if he ever bought tickets he replied. "I do when it gets up in the $100s of millions. You have to be in the game to win."

Lucky 7

A lottery syndicate from Kilrush claimed their Irish Lotto prize earlier this month. At €8,302,204, it was the biggest Lotto jackpot winning ticket to ever be claimed in County Clare, but the identity of the seven syndicate members remains a mystery because they opted to remain anonymous.

Speaking to National Lottery staff in Dublin, one of the winners spoke of his excitement when he checked the numbers online and discovered they'd become lotto millionaires.

"I couldn't focus on the numbers. I thought that there must have been a mistake," he said.

"I felt about 90% sure we’d won," he continued, "so I phoned the rest of the group and said, 'I think we’ve won the Lottery'. Some of them thought I was messing and one said, 'we've either won or we haven't—there's no think about it'."

Once their winnings were safely secured, the seven mystery winners agreed they had some thinking to do after all—about what to do with all that money.

Lottery Scam Fears in Angus

Residents in Angus, Scotland, are being advised to be on the alert for scam letters informing them they have won large prizes in an international lottery.

The trading standards service says the mailings claim the recipient has been 'specially selected' to receive a prize or that their name has been 'attached' to winning ticket with a value of £900,000 or more.

The letter then urges recipients to complete a claim form and post it at once, or contact their 'claims agent' by telephone or fax so the lottery can begin the claims process.

Once contact has been initiated the fraudsters ask for an upfront payment, to secure the release of the bogus prize, and for further personal details that could then be used to commit identity theft.

The trading standards service warns against responding to any such letters and points out genuine lotteries never require fees from their winners.

Friday, March 21, 2014

San Francisco Cab Driver Picks up $1.9 Million

A cab driver who has spent the last 10 years dreaming about winning the lottery saw those dreams come true earlier this week when he matched 5 of the 6 US Mega Millions numbers drawn on Tuesday night and scooped a $1.9 million win.

Fifty-year-old Mahendra KC left his homeland of Nepal a decade ago, immigrated to San Francisco, and immediately became a dedicated lottery player.

"My dad has been buying lottery for 10 years, hoping he would get the jackpot or some big amount," Mahendra’s son Niranjan confirmed. "He is really excited about it. He was lost for words."

Mehendra purchased his winning 'Quick Pick' ticket from the Huntingdon Liquor Store in San Bruno and although he didn’t match enough numbers to allow him to take a share of Tuesday's mammoth $414 million jackpot, the cabbie is happy with his lot.

Mahendra sped to the California Lottery headquarters and claimed his prize on Wednesday morning, taking his two children with him.

"It’s just a life-changing situation here,” Mahendra's daughter Chandani said, translating for her father. “Now whatever dreams we always had all together as a family, they’re going to be true."

Niranjan said the family is now hoping to use some of their mega-millions to try and seek organ transplants for their grandparents and to get treatment for Mahendra's chronic heart condition.

"We’ve worked so hard throughout our life." Niranjan said. "That’s all my dad thinks about is winning the lottery. Hopefully our lives change now. It’s pretty much a dream come true."

Mega Millions is the biggest jackpot game in America. Jackpots start at $15 million and other prizes range from $1 to $1 million.  Drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 23:00 (ET).

Funny Money is No Laughing Matter for Lottery Vendor

A lottery vendor in Taiwan is out of pocket by NT$199,000—a year's salary—thanks to heartless swindler who made a mass purchase using toy money.

The man, said to have short hair and to be aged about 30, had made two previous purchases from the lottery station in Kaohsiung. His total lottery spend on March 10 and 11 came to NT$100,000 ($3,300) so the vendor was not unduly suspicious when he returned on March 13—wearing a mask!—and purchased another NT$200,000 worth of tickets. But when the vendor started to count the money she discovered only the top note was real. She then shouted after the fraudster, but he ignored her pleas and made his getaway on a motorcycle.

The vendor said the tickets should reap NT$40,000 and the winners can be cashed at any lottery shop in Taiwan.

$30 Million Oz Lotto Prize Goes to Mystery Man

An Oz Lotto player from Sydney has claimed the top prize from Wednesday's drawing and opted to remain anonymous.

Although lottery staff are not at liberty to reveal the big winner's identity they said the man had been a dedicated Oz Lotto player since the first drawing 20 years ago, and had never previously won more than $70, so was shocked when he discovered the size of his win.

“I checked my ticket at home today and when I saw that I had all the winning numbers, I started to shake," the man told lottery staff. "Now that you’ve confirmed that I’ve won $30 million, I’m shaking even more."

The 40-year-old winner is now planning an early retirement and said he may buy a couple of homes.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Canadian Lotto Winner Gets it Wrong

When Calgary man Michael Tkachyk ran his Canada Lotto 649 ticket through the automatic checker and discovered it was a winner he was not sure what he and his wife Deidre would do with their $70,000 lotto windfall. The options suddenly became a lot broader when he double-checked his numbers online and discovered he'd actually won $7.2 million.

"I checked it [the ticket] at the ticket checker, but I didn’t really know how much we’d won—there are no commas in the display,” Tkachyk said, explaining his mistake.

Deidre wasn't home at the time so he sent a text, asking her to contact him, and said it was 'important'. When she didn't reply he sent another text, saying it was 'urgent'. Hi next text said it was 'really urgent' and when Deidre finally responded she said it was 'amazing'.

"It felt surreal, it still does," Deidre admitted. "You can’t even imagine how it feels until it actually happens."

Better Late Than Never

A US Powerball player from Springfield, Virginia, was feeling hot and bothered earlier this week when he discovered he'd won a cool $1 million and had been walking around with the winning ticket in his pocket for over a week.

Robert Manning bought his ticket on March 5, stuffed it in his wallet, and forgot about it until earlier this week when he decided to check through his stash of old tickets.

Manning said the money will come in useful because he is presently putting one of his children through college.

"It feels crazy," Manning said. "It feels like there's nine million things going through my mind."

The US Powerball is a multi-state game that offers a minimum jackpot of $40 million. Numbers are drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 22:59 (EST). The next Powerball drawing has an estimated jackpot of $96 million.

EuroMillionaire Wages War Against Cancer

The Scottish EuroMillions winner, Chris Weir, recently became a breast health awareness ambassador for Breast Cancer Care Scotland and she is so dedicated to the cause that she has pledged to donate £750,000 to the charity over the next three years.

Chris and her husband Colin won a life-changing £161 million in 2011 and have since become renowned for their charitable acts.

Breast Aware Scotland is a particularly worthy cause. The charity is committed to improving cancer survival rates and their new "B-Aware" campaign is designed to help the charity move closer to their goal by ensuring sufferers recognize the signs in time and seek help.

A former psychiatric nurse, Mrs. Weir is well aware that people suffering from mental illnesses sometimes fall through the net and fail to understand the importance of breast awareness issues due to the restrictions of their disease.

"Breast cancer doesn't discriminate," Weir pointed out. "When Breast Cancer Care Scotland talked to me about the low survival rates here, and I realized that this situation was even worse for hard-to-reach groups, I immediately agreed to support their campaign."

Breast Aware introduced the B-Aware  campaign in response to new research figures that indicate breast cancer cases in Scotland have increased by 14%. in the last ten years.

The Scottish survival rate is one of the lowest in Europe.

Breast Cancer Care Scotland's Jane Hinnrich stressed the importance of early detection of the disease and said, "We have wanted to tackle this for some time and the donation from Chris means we can now get this life-changing project off the ground and start to save lives."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gunned Down for a Lottery Ticket?

It is believed a man accused of a fatal shooting in Columbus, Ohio, may have gunned down his victim over a lottery ticket.

Reynoldsburg resident William P. Greene, 22, was charged on Monday. Police have also charged, Millersport woman, Ariana C. Ruddock, 18, with complicity to murder for assisting Greene with his getaway and sugesting he shoot his victim a second time, using a different weapon.

Court records show neither of the accused has been apprehended yet.

The body of David Duff, 23, was found just before 07:00, on Saturday morning, in room 510 at the Travelodge on Broad Street.

The dead man's grandfather, David McGuiniss, told police Duff and Greene had recently been arguing over an Ohio Lottery ticket worth $500. Duff had been 'holding on to it' for Greene.

"They still shouldn’t have killed him over a lottery ticket," McGinnis said. "But people are killing people over a lot less than that today."

Oz Lotto Winner Has Yet to Come Forward

An Oz Lotto Player from Sydney, Australia, has bagged $30 million on Tuesday, but the winner has not yet come forward to claim their prize.

OZ Lotto spokesperson Belinda McDougal said the winning ticket was purchased in Greater Western Sydney, but it was not registered to a NSW Lotteries Players Club card so the lottery has no idea who the winner might be.

"The winner may have woken up this morning and headed off to work oblivious to the fact that they’re now $30 million richer!" McDougal said.

Oz Lotto drawings take place on Tuesdays and ticket sales stop at 19:30 (AEDT). To win the Division 1 prize players must match all 7 of the numbers drawn.

Britain's New EuroMillionaire Picks up his Check

The identity of the mystery British EuroMillions winner was revealed on Tuesday when the National Lottery presented 41-year-old Neal Trotter with his £107.9 million check at a press conference held in Surrey.

Trotter is a mechanic by trade, but he is also keen amateur racing car driver and took sixth place in last summer's BMW Compact Cup.

Prior to the big win Trotter had been spending much of his spare time building his own high speed car, but Britain's newest millionaire's super win means that he no longer needs to don his overalls to get a supercar so he is already making plans to replace his old Ford Focus with a fleet of sports cars.

Trotter travelled up to Surrey with his long-time partner Nicky Ottawa and stated he'd left his old life behind.

"I worked my last shift on Friday repairing and spraying other people's cars," Trotter said. "I have a few phone calls to make to let people down, but this is my time now. I'm taking time off and going to really enjoy following the British touring car championships."

Apparently the minted mechanic was expecting a big win and had been eagerly awaiting the Friday night draw.

"On Friday evening we were sitting at home when I checked the time and thought the draw must have taken place by now," Trotter said. "I took out my ticket to check the winning numbers and amazingly one by one they matched. I told Nicky, my partner, 'I've done it! I've won the lottery'. But she told me to shut up and to stop being an idiot."

Then when Trotter rang his father and told him the good news his father also called him and idiot and told him to stop drinking, but just a few days later Trotter has the proof in his hands and the only thing he is drinking is champagne.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Florida Lottery Player Wins 20 X the Cash

Mayo resident, Annette Blake, 52, has won $500,000 with a Florida Lottery 20 X THE CASH scratch-off ticket.

The game was one of several games launched last month. The other games are 5 X THE CASH, 10 X THE CASH, 50 X THE CASH, and 100 X THE CASH.

Tickets for 20 X THE CASH cost $5 and he overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 4.24, but Blake is the fifth person to win the game's top prize and only six more $500,000 prizes remain.

Florida Lottery scratch off tickets account for 60% of Florida Lottery Ticket sales, but the big draw games still remain a firm favorite with many players and the lottery is likely to see an increase in Lotto ticket sales this week because the jackpot on offer in the Wednesday night drawing is an enticing $22 million.

Powerball Prize Claimed at the Last Moment

The Louisiana Lottery Corporation has announced a $40,000 US Powerball prize has been claimed just before the 180 day deadline. If the winner had put it off for another two weeks it would have been too late.

The prize, which dates back to the drawing held on September 21, 2013, was claimed by a 41-year-old Powerball player from New Orleans. The lottery has not revealed the winner's identity, but lottery staff said the man told them he only thought to check his tickets because a friend told him a New Orleans player had failed to claim their prize.

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). The next Powerball drawing is on Wednesday and has an estimated jackpot of $80 million.

Identity of Britain's New EuroMillionaire to Be Revealed Later Today

The countdown has begun. The wait is nearly over. In just a few hours the identity Britain's New EuroMillionaire will be revealed.

When it was announced on Friday that a British EuroMillions Player had won the mammoth £108 million jackpot lottery players all over Europe were eager to discover the identity of the lucky winner.

The winner claimed their prize over the weekend, but rumors began to circulate that they had decided to remain anonymous and take the money and run. This rumor has proved to be untrue because the National Lottery has announced they will be revealing the identity of the lucky winner at a press conference later today.

At the moment the lottery are only prepared to reveal the winner's occupation and location. He's a car mechanic from Coulsdon in Surrey.

A National Lottery spokesperson said: "This single UK ticket-holder will enter the exclusive top five on the National Lottery Rich List—at number four—and we've got the champagne on ice ready for the lucky winner to claim their prize."

The mystery mechanic will need to prepare himself for a new champagne lifestyle because with £108 million sitting in the bank he will be wealthier than many top celebrities.

The former Take That singer Robbie Williams has an estimated wealth of £105 million. Fellow Brit singer George Michael is believed to be worth a similar amount, and the actress Gwyneth Paltrow's total fortune is said to be in the region of £89 million.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Male Rape Matters" Project Receives Lottery Funding

The UK National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund has awarded a £364,000 grant to Mankind UK to help finance their Male Rape Matters project.

Mankind UK was founded in 2000 to help provide support to male victims (18+) of sexual abuse. The charity offers a range of services including one-to-one counselling sessions and therapeutic groups where victims can meet up and discuss their situation with people who have experienced similar traumatic experiences.

Mankind's CEO, Martyn Sullivan, was delighted when he heard their bid for lottery funding had been successful.

"There is such a limited amount of resources for male survivors in the UK," Sullivan said. "It is vital that charities such as Mankind exist and create awareness of the plight of men that have suffered sexual abuse."

In the year ending September 2013 British police investigated 2,164 sexual assaults on males aged 13 and over, but the actual amount of assaults that take place each year is believed to be much higher.

Statistics gathered by Ministry of Justice suggest 72,000 UK males per year may experience some form of sexual abuse, but it has been estimated that less than 0.1% of such attack are reported to the police.

Big Lottery Fund Spokesperson, Alison Rowe was pleased to see lottery funds being put to such good use.

"By supporting the only male specialist support service in the South East, the grant to Mankind will help provide many men who have experienced sexual violation with the tailored support they need to recover," Rowe said.

New Yorker Swaps Small Lotto Win for $1 million

Nicola Meehan from Pearl River, New York, made a profitable decision when she won $15 on one of the New York Lottery's Monopoly Jackpot scratch-off tickets and decided to invest the winnings in three more tickets.

Meehan said she knew she'd made the right decision as soon as she saw the automatic win coin symbol on her ticket, above the word 'jackpot'.

Meehan told New York Lottery official she never bothers with the draw games unless a large jackpot is available and admitted she only bought the scratchers because she has a long-standing love of the Monopoly board game.

Canada Lotto Max Jackpot Scooped on Friday

Friday's Canada Lotto Max $50 million jackpot was won by a ticket purchased in Langley, British Columbia.

Friday's drawing also offered 50 MaxMillions prizes of $1 million and 17 lucky players successfully matched the 7 numbers necessary to put a winning smile on their faces.

Lotto Max jackpots start at $10 million and are pushed up in value every time there is a rollover, but next week's jackpot has been topped up with Friday's remaining 33 MaxMillions prizes, so some lucky Lotto Max player could be celebrating the weekend with a $43 million win.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

UK Man Says EuroMillions Ruined His Life

An engineer from Wirral, Merseyside, has spent the last 20 months of his life fretting over a lost EuroMillions ticket he believes was worth £1 million.

Ian Galtress, 41, bought two tickets for the EuroMillions draw held on July 27, 2012. He gave one ticket to his girlfriend and kept the other, but later lost it.

When the EuroMillions Raffle numbers were announced his girlfriend's ticket matched all but one of the numbers and only missed the final one by a digit. Galtress believes the tickets were numbered in sequence and that his lost ticket was the winner.

A bad situation became even worse when lottery organizers, Camelot, announced they were looking for a EuroMillions Raffle winner in the Wirral area.

"It's ruined my life.  I've lost lots of weight. I'm not sleeping because of the anxiety in me," Galtress said. "I feel like I have been ripped off, robbed, or kicked to the curb. I just want to rebuild my life."

The loss of a lottery ticket does not have to entail the loss of a prize. If players can provide the lottery with certain specifics, such as where and when they bought the ticket, along with their chosen numbers, the lottery may still award them the prize.

For Galtress though, it is far too late. The claim deadline has passed and the prize has already gone to National Lottery Good Causes.

All Galtress wants now is move on with his life, but before he can do so he needs something from Camelot.

"All I want is a definitive answer saying if it's me or not," Galtress said.

Camelot is looking into the matter and expects to have an answer for him in a few days.

$400 Million Mega Millions Jackpot on Tuesday

The US Mega Millions jackpot rolled over again on Friday so the jackpot has inflated to a staggering $400 million.

Although the Mega Ball eluded them, eight players successfully matched five of the numbers drawn on Friday. Players who match five Mega Millions numbers normally win $1 million, but three of the players will receive $3 million because they added the Megaplier option to their tickets.

The Megaplier option increases non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4, or 5 times the normal amount for each tier. Adding the Megaplier option cost an extra dollar, but it is not available in all states.

Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at 23:00 (ET). Tuesday's Jackpot is the third largest prize ever offered in a Mega Millions draw.  The biggest prize to date was the $656 million jackpot that was shared between two players in March 2012.

Connecticut Lottery Player Wins $10,000 for Life

A man from Fairfield County will receive $10,000 a month for the rest of his life courtesy of the Connecticut Lottery.

Monroe resident Kevin Cahill is the first person to win the top prize available in the lottery's "Win up to $10,000 a Month for Life" game. He claimed his prize earlier this week and chose not to take advantage of the lump sum payment option that would have allowed him to forsake the monthly payments in favor of a $2 million lump sum.

The Connecticut Lottery first began selling "Win up to $10,000 a Month for Life" tickets on September 9, 2013, and four more top prizes remain to be claimed.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Name's Bayford, Adrian Bayford

Four Months after his wife left him for a car dealer Lottery Winner Adrian Bayford has found love in the arms of a 27-year-old stable girl and is looking forward to a James Bond-themed wedding ceremony.

Bayford, 43, and his new love Samantha Burbridge have been courting since January. It is believed the love-struck lotto millionaire popped the question while he and Burbridge were sharing a candlelit dinner on the beach at a £500 a night holiday resort in the Maldives.

Bayford and his wife Gillian won the £148 million EuroMillions Jackpot in August 2012. At the time they swore the win would not change them, but announced their separation in November 2013, and blamed the split on the 'stress of winning'.

Speaking last November, Mr. Bayford said, "Gillian and I have split. When you win the lottery it’s so stressful. Things happen. Sometimes in life you have to move on. We’re all happy now and life goes on."

Love has moved fast for Bayford and his new fiancée. Three weeks after they met Burbridge gave up her job and moved into her lover's luxury mansion in Suffolk.

A source close to the couple described them as 'being like a couple of teenagers'.

"Samantha looks like the cat that's got the cream and Adrian is completely smitten with her," the friend said.

The couple plan to walk down the aisle to the sound of James Bond's theme tune and the groom will wear a white suit similar to that favored by the villain Scaramanga in the 9th Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun.

"Did I Win?"

"Did I win?" It's the first question that comes to the mind of anyone who buys a scratch-off lottery ticket. It's such and an obvious question that Kansas Lottery even offer players the chance of winning up to $25,000 on a "Did I Win" ticket. For Wichita resident Robin Talbot, 53, the answer is "Yes" because when she scratched off her ticket she discovered she'd won the game's top prize.

Talbott claimed her prize on Wednesday and said she may treat her husband to a cruise or a trip to Hawaii. She also plans to make a donation to her local church and buy some gifts for her six grandchildren.

UK Ticket Wins EuroMillions Jackpot

Friday's whopping £107.9 million EuroMillions jackpot has been bagged by a ticket-holder in the UK.

The winning numbers were 6, 24, 25, 27, and 30. The lucky star numbers were 5 and 9.

It is unknown at present whether the ticket was purchased by an individual player or if the prize will have to be shared among the members of a syndicate, but it is the first time this year that a EuroMillions jackpot has been associated with a UK ticket. All the previous jackpots this year have been hogged by players in Spain and France.

The next EuroMillions drawing will take place on Tuesday at 22:00 (CET) and has an estimated jackpot of £12 million.

Friday, March 14, 2014

New Zealand Lotto Winner Gets a Scolding

A man from Wellington, New Zealand, decided to take some time out and check through his old Lotto tickets and discovered he'd been sitting on a $250,000 first division win for nearly a month. He was quick to share the news with his wife, but she didn’t believe him and scolded him for telling lies.

The winner has asked the lottery to keep his identity a secret, but lottery staff reveal he bought his winning ticket from Whitcoulls Queensgate in Lower Hutt.

It was one of four tickets that matched all the numbers in the Saturday, February 15, drawing.

The winner finally got around to checking his ticket on Sunday, March 9, and was shocked to see his six numbers lined up on the computer screen.

"I hollered out to the wife 'We've won Lotto'," the man recalled. "She said, 'That's good, how much?' When I said 'A quarter of a million dollars', she told me off. So she checked the ticket herself. Then she believed me and next thing you know she's on phone the ringing up the whole family."

The man now plans to put his lotto windfall to good use by using the money to redo the bathroom and complete all the unfinished projects around their home.

The next New Zealand Lotto Drawing is on Saturday night at 20:00 and has an estimated jackpot of $1 million, but New Zealand Powerball players have bigger goals to aim for because Saturday's Powerball jackpot is $5 million.

Lotto Player Attributes Big Win to Her Sports Jersey

A school administrator from Cook County, who won $2 million on an Illinois Lottery scratch-off ticket, picked up her check on Tuesday and told lottery officials she couldn't have done it without her old sports jersey.

Monique Abbate, 39, bought her winning “$2,000,000 Extravaganza” ticket from Convenience Food and Liquor on Harlem Ave., in Forest View, and only chose that particular ticket because it was housed in a bin marked "10"—the same number as her old softball jersey.

When she returned to her car Abbate scratched off her ticket and then rushed home to share the news with her grandmother.

"I started screaming," Abbate admitted. "I couldn’t believe it."

She now plans to use her winnings to pay off her student loans and is already planning a celebratory trip to Las Vegas.

Mega Millions Jackpot Rises to $353 million

The US Mega Millions game is living up its name as it continues grow and succession of rollovers has resulted in the present jackpot rising to a mega $353 million.

Tuesday's drawing offered a jackpot of $309, but although two players matched five balls to win $1 million, none of them managed to get the elusive Mega Ball so the big-money prize has been saved for another play.

The Mega Millions numbers drawn on Tuesday, March 11, were 9, 14, 56, 57, 69. The Mega Ball was 10.

Mega Millions is the biggest jackpot game in America. Jackpots start at $15 million and other prizes ranging from $1 to a cool $1 million! Drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 23:00 (ET).

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Store Refuses to Pay Lottery Prizes

A woman from Oxford Road, London, has complained to UK National Lottery organizers, Camelot, because her local Costcutter store is cutting costs by refusing to pay out small lottery prizes.

"It’s annoying!" the frustrated lottery player explained. "This shop is happy to sell scratchcards, but they don’t seem willing to pay out and they should be stopped"

The woman, who does not want to be named, said she regularly purchases National Lottery scratchcards from the store, but every time her scratching uncovers a winner the store clerk refuses to pay up.

"Every time I go to cash the scratchcard the man behind the counter says he can’t pay because he doesn't have enough money in the till," she said. "I know you can’t claim from shops over a certain amount, but the most I have ever tried to claim is £15."

The unhappy player said the store's cost-cutting tactics have resulted in her being turned away 'nine or ten times'.

The National Lottery sells tickets from 37,000 outlets all over the UK. The majority of retailers allow players to claim up to £100 from their stores and some retailers are willing to pay out up to £500.

"Our retailers earn commission on all scratchcard prizes over £10 that they pay out in-store, so it’s actually in their interests to pay prizes where they can," a Camelot spokesperson stated.

"If any player believes they have a valid winning lottery ticket but, for whatever reason, cannot claim their prize in-store, they should send it to our prize pay-out department who will be happy to determine if the ticket is a winner."

EuroMillions Raffle Winner Sought in Wales

EuroMillions organizers are still waiting to hear from the owner of a winning ticket that was purchased in Conwy, Wales, over two weeks ago.

The EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle ticket won £1 million in the Tuesday, February 25, drawing but nobody has stepped forward to claim the prize.

The UK National Lottery now suggesting players dig out their old EuroMillions tickets and check them again.

The EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle is a free raffle UK EuroMillions players are automatically entered into whenever they purchase a EuroMillions ticket. Winning Raffle numbers are announced during every EuroMillions draw and offer a fixed sum prize of £1 million.

Players can find their raffle number printed on the back of their tickets.

The winning raffle ticket number is ZXJ180326. Is this your number? If so you should ring the National Lottery Line on 0845 910 0000.

Surprise Win for Canadian Couple

A couple from Vernon, British Columbia claimed their $1 million Canada Lotto Max prize on Tuesday and admitted the win took them totally by surprise.

Ron and Donna Ritchie's numbers tallied up to a big win in one of Friday night's Lotto Max Maxmillions draws. They had their ticket checked the following morning while out grocery shopping at their local Safeway store.

"The guy behind the ticket counter said someone from Vernon won a million," Donna recalled. "I said it probably wasn't us. I looked at my husband and he goes 'it was.' I said no it wasn't. He said yes it was. I said no it wasn't and I stepped over and looked and there it was.[the proof]"

The Ritchies scooped their win courtesy of one of the 30 Maxmillions draws held on Friday and intend to spend some of their winning on home renovations.

Maxmillions are additional $1 million prizes that are only drawn when the Canada Lotto Max Jackpot reaches $50 million. When Maxmillions prizes are available every Lotto Max ticket is automatically entered into the draws using the numbers chosen for normal Lotto Max draw.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Canadian Lotto Player's Dream Comes True

Retiree, Dorothy Lahola, woke from a dream and heard herself shouting "I’m a winner! I’m a winner!" One week later her dream was fulfilled when a Canada Lotto 6/49 ticket she purchased pulled in a £1 million win.

The Kamlop's resident's dreams were turned into reality during the March 8, drawing, but she failed to realize it until a week later when she discovered someone in the area had failed to claim a Lotto 6/49 Guaranteed Prize.

Lahola thought it was unlikely that she was the missing winner, but she took her ticket to a local  7-Eleven store and had it checked.

When the store clerk ran her ticket through the checker she was surprised to see the screen fill up with zeros.

"Who won that?" she asked and then screamed, "Yahoo!" when the store clerk gave her the answer.

Cincinnati Woman Charged With Lottery Ticket Theft

A woman from Cincinnati has been charged with stealing lottery tickets.

Centerville Police say 30-year-old Amber Mathes stole the tickets from the convenience store where she worked and then tried to cover her tracks by going to three other convenience stores to cash the winners.

Matthes was arrested on March 4. She was charged with three counts of lottery ticket theft (a class D felony) and an aggravated misdemeanor.

The three stolen packs of Iowa Lottery scratch-off tickets had a combined value of $900, but contained only three winning tickets with a cash value of $30.

In the state of Iowa, class D felonies can result in five year prison sentences and a fine of $750 to $7,500 for each conviction. Aggravated misdemeanors can result in similar sentencing and fines of $625 to $6,250 for each conviction.

New Zealand Lotto Winner's Charitable Intentions

A New Zealand Powerball winner from Christchurch is donating some of his $5 million winnings to the charities that offered him assistance during the earthquakes.

The winner scooped his big win in the March 1, drawing with a ticket he purchased from the Redwood Mini Market, but he'd been walking about with the winning ticket in pocket for over a week before he checked it.

The winner has chosen to remain anonymous but he told New Zealand Lottery officials he was aware the prize had not been claimed, but never dreamed he was the lucky winner.

"I thought to myself 'yeah, it would be good to win Lotto'", he said. "But of course, I didn't really think it was me."

When eventually checked his ticket and the machine said he was a major prize winner he said the feeling was 'incredible'.

New Zealand's new millionaire has never owned his own home and hasn't had a car in years, so both those things are near the top of his list, but the charities that helped him out during the quakes have never been far from his mind.

"I'd also like to give some money to the Salvation Army and some of the other groups that really helped me out during the earthquake," he said.

The total prize in the March 1, drawing consisted of $4 million from the New Zealand Powerball first division and $1 million from the Lotto first division.

New Zealand Powerball drawings are held on Saturdays at 20:00. The biggest prize to date was won in the draw held on September 28, 2013, after 15 rollovers pushed the jackpot up to $33 million.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wildlife Project Receives Further Lottery Funding

A wildlife project in Gwent, Wales, will be able to continue their good work for another three years thanks to a £365,000 grant from the UK National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund.

Gwent Wildlife Trust already owes the Big Lottery Fund a debt of thanks because their People and Wildlife project was originally set up on the back of a Big Lottery Fund grant awarded in 2011.

The People and Wildlife Project helps groups and individuals discover and appreciate the wealth of wildlife that inhabits the South Wales Valleys.

Most of the activities and events available throughout the year are run from the Silent Valley Nature Reserve in Cwm and many local schools bring pupils to the reserve so they can experience wildlife in its natural habitat and gain a better understanding of nature.

The new lottery funding will be used to develop similar projects in other areas.

The Trust has worked hard over the past three years and improved many wildlife habitats, at the reserve and elsewhere in the area, and has also succeeded in raising local awareness to many wildlife issues.

With the lottery funding now in the bag, project leader, Veronika Brannovic, is looking forward to the work ahead and said: "Whether you’re a retiree who’s interested in becoming a volunteer shepherd, someone looking to boost your CV with new skills, a parent looking for family friendly activities, or a student wanting some work experience in the conservation sector, the People and Wildlife Project can help."

Australian Lotto Winner Celebrates With a Brew

A pensioner from Gippsland, Victoria had a first division win in Australia's Saturday Lotto drawing, but instead of breaking out the bubbly he rewarded himself by drinking 12 cups of tea.

The identity of the winner has not been revealed but he was overjoyed when he received a phone call from Australian Lottery organizers, TattsLotto, informing him he'd won $1,013,557.14.

"When you’ve worked hard your whole life and struggled from time-to-time, it's hard to believe that this could happen," he stated.  "I had about a dozen cups of tea to celebrate after checking those numbers."

He has not made a final decision on how he will spend his winnings, but the tea-loving winner said he likes animals and has always dreamed of owning some land so he is considering buying a hobby farm.

Florida Lotto Jackpot Grows to $20 Million

The Florida Lotto jackpot rolled over yet again at the weekend so the present jackpot is an estimated $20 million.

So far this year the Florida Lotto Jackpot has only been won once when one lucky player won the entire $12 million jackpot in the drawing held on January 18.

Fifty-nine players managed to match five numbers in Saturday's draw, securing each player a $2,679 prize, and 52,787 players won smaller prizes from the lower tiers, but nobody matched all six numbers so the Wednesday night draw has the potential to make someone very rich.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Clean Results in a Tidy Sum for Mega Millions Player

A US Mega Millions player from Manassas, West Virginia, was sitting on a winning ticket for nearly five months and never realized it until he decided to do a spot of spring cleaning.

Scott Murillos found the forgotten ticket towards the end of last month when he was cleaning out some old papers and was surprised to discover he'd successfully matched five of the numbers drawn on October 8, 2013.

"It's something I never thought I’d get," Murillos said as he claimed his $250,000 prize at the Virginia Lottery headquarters.

The rules governing the Mega Millions draw have recently changed. Under the new rules players who match 5 numbers receive $1 million, but as Murillos' ticket was purchased when the old rules still applied his prize was calculated according to the rules in force at the time of the draw.

The next Mega Millions draw is on Tuesday, March 11, and has an estimated jackpot of $309 million.

Fortune Teller Predicted Lottery Win

When George Gallant, 85, visited a fortune teller in the late 1980s she advised him to stick with the lottery because she saw a big win in his future. He took her advice and had his faith rewarded, over a quarter of a century later, when he claimed his $500,000 share of a Maxmillions prize earlier this week.

Now retired and living at Brantford, Ontario, Gallant admits he was a little skeptical when the fortune teller's prediction finally came true.

"On Saturday after the draw I went to the store to check my tickets on the self-checker," Gallant explained to staff at the OLG prize center. "At first I didn't really understand so I decided to check with the cashier and she confirmed my big win."

Now his long wait is over Gallant has no idea what to do with his winnings, but with four children and six grandchildren he doesn't expect to be stumped for long.

"I have lots of family to help me decide how to spend it," he joked.

Maxmillions are additional $1 million prizes that are only drawn when the Canada Lotto Max Jackpot reaches $50 million. When Maxmillions prizes are available every Lotto Max ticket is automatically entered into the draws using the numbers chosen for normal Lotto Max draw.

Next Fridays Lotto Max draw has an estimated jackpot of $50 million and there will also be 50 Maxmillions drawings so it doesn't take a crystal ball to see that Lotto Max players have an exciting week ahead of them.

Third Big Win for Florida Lotto Player

Winning the lottery is becoming a habit for sixty-six-year-old Barbara Woodard. In 2009 she took a $200,000 share of the prize when her office lottery pool had a Powerball win, then she picked up an additional $200,000 when the office pool had a second big Powerball win in 2011. Not satisfied with just two big wins, the Winter Haven Resident has proved you can never have too much of a good thing by scooping the $500,000 Mega Money Jackpot in the Friday, February 21, draw.

The three-time winner says she uses the same numbers for every Mega Money draw and plans to continue using them until she wins again.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

One Ticket Wins Saturday's National Lottery Jackpot

Saturday's UK National Lottery Jackpot was scooped by one player who managed to match all six numbers drawn.

The numbers drawn on Saturday were 26, 02, 09, 44, 12, 31. The bonus number was 5. The winner has yet to come forward but their lucky numbers have added up to produce a £2,996,753 win.

The National Lottery's Lotto is the UK's most popular lottery draw and has created over 2,300 millionaires since drawings began in November 1994.

National Lottery drawings are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Next Wednesday's draw offers an estimated jackpot of £2.2 million

Powerball Win Brings Indiana Woman to Tears

When a US Powerball player from Tipton County, Indiana, discovered her numbers had delivered a $2 million win in Last Saturday's drawing she was so overcome with emotion she claimed her prize with tears in her eyes.

Buffy Calvert bought her winning ticket from the Speedway filling station at 405 E. Jefferson Street, Tipton, and was one of seven players who managed to match five numbers, but failed to get the Powerball in the $60 million draw on Saturday, March 1.

Calvert's five lucky numbers would normally have reaped a $1 million win, but she got double the money because she invested an extra dollar and added the Power Play option to her ticket.

The grandmother of seven never thought to check her ticket until Wednesday when she rounded off a grocery shopping trip by going for a soda with her daughter. The soda bubbles jogged her memory and Calvert finally had her Powerball numbers checked.

When the clerk told Calvert her numbers had produced a bigger win than he could pay out she thought she may have won a few hundred dollars, but never dreamed her estimate was so many zeros short of the truth.

When the claims manager at the Hoosier Lottery Headquarters in Indianapolis told Calvert how much she had really won she couldn't believe it and got so emotional her claims manager ended up in tears as well.

"This is an unforgettable moment and an unforgettable day,” Calvert said, before stating she would invest a lot of the money and was looking forward to making some charitable donations.

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).

EuroMillions Rollsover

Nobody managed to match the five numbers and two lucky stars required to win Friday's  €100 million EuroMillions Superdraw Jackpot so the jackpot has rolled over and the Tuesday night drawing has an estimated jackpot of €112 million.

The biggest winners on Friday were the six players who each won a €453,509 second tier prize for matching 5 numbers and one lucky star.

EuroMillions Drawing are held on Fridays and Tuesdays at 21:00 UK time (22:00 CET). Superdraws are occasional drawing that are usually held about twice a year. Superdraws differ from ordinary draws by offering a guaranteed jackpot of €100.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lottery Commission Will Pay Newsagent's Medical Bills

The newsagent who sold the ticket that won Wednesday's €8.3 million Ireland Lottery jackpot has revealed she sold the ticket just hours after doctors told her she'd beaten cancer. She now plans to use her lottery commission to pay her medical bills.

Mary Miniter will receive €15,000 for selling the winning ticket and the happy newsagent admits it was a big surprise when the Ireland Lottery rang her on Thursday morning to tell her one of her customers had scooped the jackpot.

"I couldn’t believe it," Miniter said. "Only the day before my doctor had told me it was all looking good for me with the cancer and she told me, 'It's like winning the Lotto.' And to be then told our shop actually went on and sold the winner is incredible. What a coincidence!"

Wednesday's €8,302,204 jackpot, the biggest Ireland Lottery prize so far this year, had grown unusually large due to six weeks of successive rollovers.

The rollovers were ended by a €24 multidraw ticket with QuickPick lines. The winner has yet to come forward and claim their prize and the residents of Kilrush, West Clare, can't wait to find out who it is.

"Everyone is coming in with a smile on their face saying congratulations," Miniter said. "But we’re all wondering who has got it. Everyone seems to be keeping hush, so if it's anyone local, they’re great at hiding it."

The Kilrush Voluntary Fire Brigade buys a €24 multidraw ticket every Saturday, but has quickly denied any rumors that their syndicate is holding onto the winning ticket.

"I wouldn’t be heading to work if I’d just won eight million bob," a syndicate member joked.

The winner has 90 days to claim their prize.

New Yorker's Win-a-Fortune Cookie

A woman in New York won $2 million playing the US Powerball using the numbers she found inside the fortune cookie served with her Chinese meal.

"I was surprised, but pleased," Elma Duvoll said when New York Lottery officials asked her how she felt about her win. 

The 75-year-old winner plans to invest most of winnings, but said she will treat herself to a trip to Switzerland so she can visit her family.

Duvoll is not the first person discover lotto luck hiding inside a fortune cookie. In 2005, 110 Powerball players won $100,000 each using numbers taken from fortune cookies produced by the Long Island City-based company Wonton Food.

Florida Lotto Jackpot Continues to Grow

It was another rollover on Wednesday so the Florida Lotto jackpot for the upcoming draw on Saturday has grown to an impressive $18 million.

To win the Florida Lotto jackpot players must match all six numbers drawn. On Wednesday night 25 players matched five numbers, netting each player $4,286.50; and 1,314 tickets matched four numbers to win $78.50, but nobody managed to bag the elusive sixth number necessary to win the big bucks.

The Largest Florida Lottery Jackpot to date was won on September 15, 1990, and the $106 million jackpot was shared by six lucky winners.

Florida Lotto drawings are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 23:15 (ET).

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lottery Cash will be Invested in Roman Cash

The UK National Lottery's Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £372,500 to Bath and North East Somerset Council's Beau Street Hoard project. The money will be used to buy a stash or Roman coins to Display at the Roman Baths in Abbey Church Yard, Bath.

The cache of 17,577 Silver Roman coins—minted between 32BC and 270AD—was discovered in 2007.  The money was unearthed in Beau Street, just 150 meters from the Baths, and was named accordingly.

The Beau Street Hoard is one of the largest hoards of Roman coins to be discovered to date and its historical importance makes it an obvious candidate for HLF funding because the fund is designed to assist projects that are important to the British heritage.

Archaeologists believe the stash was originally housed in animal skin pouches and hidden in a stone-lined hiding place beneath a Roman building.

The HLF provided the council with a £54,000 development grant in 2012 and the council was informed on Wednesday this week that their second funding request has also been approved.

The fresh funds will be combined with an additional £15,000 raised by public donations and should ensure the council can finally purchase the Beau Street Hoard.

Nerys Watts Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West is delighted that lottery funds are helping such a worthwhile project.

 "The Beau Street Hoard is such an exciting discovery and this project will help everyone develop a better understanding of one of the most fascinating periods in the history of Bath," Watts said.