Entries in Lottery Ticket (6)


Illinois Chaplain Finds $1M Powerball Ticket in Desk

Illinois Lottery(NEW YORK) -- A retired chaplain in Illinois found a $1 million winning lottery ticket when he was cleaning his desk, two months after the winning numbers were announced.

Ron Yurcus of Glen Ellyn, Ill., said he doesn’t usually buy lottery tickets.

“Occasionally while I buy gas, if the [lottery] prize is higher, I’ll buy one or two tickets,” Yurcus, 68, said.

Yurcus, a retired hospice chaplain, said he had accumulated about 12 tickets within two months, but didn’t check to see if any were winners until a few weeks ago.

“I bought them and never really rush home and check numbers right away.  I throw them in a pile,” he said.

When he was cleaning his desk, which he called “a cluttered mess,” he sifted through his pile of tickets and was pleasantly surprised to learn he not only had a couple tickets that won $2 but a $1 million Powerball prize from the Aug. 22 drawing.

“When I went to the payoff page and saw $1 million, I wanted to scream but no one was home,” he said, adding that he checked the number about 25 times that night and asked his wife, a school secretary, to re-check the numbers once she returned home.

Yurcus used to be self-employed with a print shop in addition to serving at the hospice, before retiring on Nov. 2.

“I don’t really have a retirement package put together.  This is my retirement,” he said.  

He and his wife are also active with charitable causes.  He said he will use some winnings to support his three children and four grandchildren.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NY Brothers Wait Six Years to Claim $5 Million Dollar Jackpot

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Two brothers from Syracuse, N.Y., have finally admitted they won $5 million on a lottery scratch ticket -- six years ago.

Andy Ashkar bought the ticket at his parents' store, and when he found out he'd won, he agreed to split the jackpot with his brother.  But they agreed they wouldn't tell a soul until just short of the deadline to redeem the prize, which was March 1.

With the secret finally off the Ashkar brothers' chests, a lottery official quoted by the Post-Standard Tuesday explained the now-married Ashkar didn't want his then-budding relationship or any other aspect of his life to be affected by the dough until he was good and ready.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Winning Powerball Ticket Sold in Michigan

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A ticket sold in Michigan matched all five numbers, including the Powerball, to win the jackpot estimated at $337 million, according to

Andi Brancato, a Michigan lottery spokesman, tells ABC News Radio that the winning ticket was sold at a Sunoco gas station in Lapeer, Mich.  There is no word yet on the identity of the lucky winner.

Wednesday night's winning numbers were 6, 27, 46, 51, 56 and the Powerball was 21.

"We had the single winning ticket sold in Michigan.  It was sold in Lapeer at a gas station there.  So we are waiting now to hear from the winner.  That could happen at any time," said Brancato.

There was also one Match 5 winner in Nebraska that won $2 million and seven Match 5 winning tickets in Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Virginia that won $1 million.

It was the third largest Powerball jackpot in the lottery's history, according to Brancato.  The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175 million and the odds of winning any prize are 1 in 31, according to

The national drawing is held in 42 states, including the District of Columbia.  No one has won the big Powerball prize since June 23, when a couple from Connecticut won $60 million.

video platform video management video solutions video player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Calif. Woman Hits Lottery Twice, Claims Ticket Stolen

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) -- A California woman who won $1 million in the lottery in January claims she hit another $260,000 last week but it was stolen. Lottery officials say though the case is still open it appears she gave her latest winning ticket away.

Emily Leach, who picked up the million-dollar check at the start of the year, bought a pile of Scratcher tickets last Friday at the same store, Liquor & Tobacco, in Mountain View.  One of those tickets was worth $260,000.  Leach claims she paid for the ticket but a man who was in the store that day stole the ticket.

Leach claims she was trying to help a man who was begging her for money. She has told lottery officials that she handed the man a $100 bill but somehow she unintentionally handed him the winning ticket she had bought. The man has not been identified by authorities.

“I did nothing but help this man. I was trying to give him what he was asking for,” Leach told ABC News.

Now she claims he stole her ticket, and she wants it back.

Russ Lopez, spokesman for the California Lottery, told ABC News they investigate disputes with tickets, and their security and law enforcement division is looking into this case.

“At this point we would not make a judgment as to who owns the ticket. The ticket has not been claimed yet. Once the ticket has been claimed then we can say a little bit more,” Lopez said.

However, he has seen part of the surveillance footage from the store and says it appears to show Leach giving away the tickets she bought to patrons in the store. They are trying to determine all the information before making a formal decision on who actually owns the ticket, he added.

“The video shows this woman buying a lot of tickets and then giving them away,” he told ABC News. "The video doesn’t lie."

Leach became something of a local celebrity after she won the million. Since then, Leach has committed random acts of kindness around the community, so purchasing tickets and beer for the customers in the store last Friday was not unusual. But winning the lotto again certainly is.

“Two times in three months!?” Leach told ABC News. “It’s an amazing story.”

Lopez says that the chances any one person could have won the $1 million lottery last January were 1 in 1.2 million, and the chances of winning on the scratch-off last Friday were even steeper -- 1 in 3.9 million.

Leach said she had to move after she won last January because people were harassing her for money. She says she used the winnings to pay off medical bills, and adds that she is still in poor health.

“I paid off all my medical bills, helped my family and helped people in the community. I was supposed to be dead three years ago,” Leach said.

Lopez says the lottery is compiling all sides of the argument before they make a decision.

“The facts are the facts, and we will make a call then,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scottish Teen Hits Jackpot by Cleaning His Room

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Ryan Kitching is one teenager who will never again complain about having to clean his room.

When the 19-year-old from Midlothian, Scotland, succumbed to his mom’s nagging to clean out his bedroom in his parent’s home last month, he found not only dirty laundry and food crumbs, but 12 old lottery tickets buried among the piles.

One of them, it turned out, was a winner that made Kitching, a part-time supermarket worker, $83,781 richer.

“It would take me four or five years to earn this amount of money, and now I’ve got it all at once,” Kitching told the London newspaper The Telegraph. “I am totally speechless – it was the happiest day of my life easily.”

Kitching told the paper he was about to throw the tickets away in the throes of his cleaning spree when he got a “strange feeling” that he should keep them instead.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Three Women Vying for Ownership of $1 Million Lottery Ticket

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BEBEE, Ark.) -- A winning $1 million lottery ticket picked out of a gas station trash can has become the subject of a three-way legal battle in Arkansas.

Sharon Jones was at a Super One Stop in July 2011 in Bebee, Ark., when she went to a trash bin to pick up a handful of discarded lottery tickets, as she had done many times before, according to her attorneys.

A program through the lottery commission website allows people to register non-winning tickets for points that they can use to work towards prizes.

"On Sunday, as was a routine, my client and her husband sit around and enter these tickets in the program," Jones' attorney Winston Collier told ABC News. "[The program] wouldn't give them points on this one ticket in particular."

The couple realized the problem was that the ticket was not completely scratched off.

"It was, in fact, not a losing lottery ticket and not only that, but it's worth a million dollars," Collier said. "Thus a controversy was born."

Jones turned in the ticket and received a check for $680,000. After the check was issued, the lottery commission began the process of confirming all winning tickets and in the course of the investigation, surveillance footage showed Jones grabbing a handful of discarded tickets from the trash bin.

After seeing the footage, the store manager, Lisa Petriches, claimed that customers were not allowed to take tickets from the bin and that she had a deal with a manager that those tickets belonged to her.

A month after Jones collected her check, Petriches filed a lawsuit against her, claiming that the winning ticket was hers. Petriches also claimed that there was a "Do Not Take" sign on the bin.

"We really don't believe that Lisa Petriches has any claim whatsoever," Jones' attorney Jimmy Simpson told ABC News. "She's saying those tickets were hers, but you've got all these people saying they weren't."

Simpson said several regulars from the store are willing to testify that it was common practice for customers to grab tickets from the bin and that the sign was not up at the time when Jones picked up the winning ticket.

"Our theory is that it was abandoned property," Collier said. "Once someone has abandoned it, it becomes the property of the first possessor."

One of Petriches' attorneys, Steven Underwood, refused to comment for the story.

"From our perspective, the person who won is the winner, the person who brought it in," Julie Baldridge, the interim director of public affairs and legislative relations for the Arkansas Lottery Commission, told ABC News. "We don't take a position on ownership. It's whoever comes to our claims office with their signature on the back."

Baldridge said that legally, it's up to a judge to decide who the ticket belongs to.

A third party entered the equation this week when Sharon Duncan claimed that she was the one who originally purchased the ticket and that the jackpot is rightfully hers. The attorneys are meeting with the lottery commission on Monday to determine if there is any way to confirm the ticket's ownership.

Duncan could not be reached for comment.

The two parties originally involved in the case appeared before a judge on Wednesday, but were dismissed after the judge expressed concern that not all of the necessary parties were present, alluding to Duncan and her claim of ownership.

The next court date has not yet been set.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio