Entries in Lottery Winner (8)


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


Massachusetts Man Wins $1 Million by Accident

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A Taunton, Mass., man had luck on his side last week when a scratch-off lottery ticket game he didn’t really want paid off big-time, according to 

Richard Brown, 60, made his usual trip to a Gulf gas station in Taunton last Monday to buy a $5 Blue Ice 7s ticket.  Except, this time, a distracted attendant handed him a $5 Sizzling Sevens scratch-off ticket by mistake.

According to lottery officials, Brown didn’t complain or ask for a different ticket.  He decided to just "roll with it," and now he’s rolling in dough.

Brown scratched off the $1 million grand prize, which will give the chef and grandfather an immediate one-time payment of $650,000 before taxes.  The odds of winning the million dollar prize were 1 in 4.2 million.

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.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Powerball Winner Has Legal, Financial Experts for Guidance

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEWPORT, R.I.) -- Rhode Island's Louise White, the winner of the third largest Powerball jackpot ever, set up a trust to provide "distance" to her winnings and "avoid complications," her lawyers and financial planner say.

Greg Fater, a friend of the family in Newport, R.I., and one of her attorneys, said the "number one" reason to create the trust was for privacy because lottery winners in Rhode Island are not permitted to accept their prize anonymously.

All but five states -- Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota and Ohio -- have laws that require the lottery to release the name and city of residence to anyone who asks, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

White's trust, the Rainbow Sherbert Trust, is named after the ice cream flavor that led her to the grocery store where she bought the winning ticket.  Fater said "sherbert" was the spelling of the ice cream at the Stop and Shop in Newport instead of the correct spelling, sherbet.

Danielle Mayoras, estate planning attorney and co-author of the book Trial & Heirs, said the trust would avoid people "coming out of the woodwork to get money from her."

White chose to accept the lump sum payment of $210 million, rather than the 30 annuity payments paid out over 29 years.  By choosing the lump sum, White surrenders the taxes immediately, paying about $52.5 million in federal taxes and $14.7 million in state taxes.

The Whites have remained private since White learned she won on Feb. 11.  Fater told ABC News that White called him the day after she learned she won.

In the press conference on Monday, White made one short statement and then left the room so her lawyers could answer general questions.

"I want to say that I'm very happy and I'm very proud.  This will make my family very happy," she said.  "We are truly blessed.  Thank you."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


$336M Powerball Winner Steps Forward

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEWPORT, R.I.) -- Louise White of Newport, R.I., stepped forward on Tuesday as the winner of the third largest Powerball lottery in the history of the game -- $336.4 million.

The winning ticket was sold from Stop & Shop at 250 Bellevue Ave. in Newport, which led to the largest jackpot ever won in the state, lottery officials said last month.

"I want to say that I'm very happy and I'm very proud.  This will make my family very happy," the 81-year-old said. "We are truly blessed.  Thank you."

White's lawyers called her a "vivacious octogenarian."

The funds will go to the "Rainbow Sherbert Trust," named after the ice cream that she purchased while buying the lottery ticket.

A spokeswoman for Stop & Shop had said before Tuesday's announcement that White's family is "frequent" and "valued" customers at the store.

"We're certainly excited to find out who the true winner is and we're also very pleased to be part of the history," Suzi Robinson said before the announcement.

The jackpot win is the first since the newly revamped $2 version of the PowerBall game debuted on Jan. 15, according to lottery officials.

White chose to accept the lump sum payment of $210 million, rather than the 30 annuity payments paid out over 29 years.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Winning Mega Millions Ticket Bought at Virginia Supermarket 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(HERNDON, Va.) -- A single ticket matching all six numbers in this week's Mega Millions jackpot worth an estimated $107 million was purchased in Virginia, lottery officials said.

The winning numbers from Friday's drawing were: 12, 17, 30, 35, 47, and mega ball number 26.

The winning ticket was purchased at a Giant Food store in Herndon, Va., according to the Virginia Lottery website.

The store is expected to get a $50,000 bonus for selling the lucky ticket.

The holder of the winning ticket could choose to take the entire jackpot amount in 26 annual payments or a single cash option of an estimated $68.1 million.

Friday's jackpot is one of the largest won in 2011.

In March, several New York state government workers won a $319 mega millions jackpot; while two months prior to that, two tickets holders from Washington and Idaho split a $380 million jackpot.

The upcoming drawing on Tuesday is estimated to have a jackpot of around $12 million with a lump sum cash option of $7.6 million. It will roll over to the next drawing if there is no winner.

The biggest jackpot game in the nation, Mega Millions is played in 41 states and in Washington, D.C.

Other smaller jackpots range from $2 to $250,000, depending on how many numbers are matched.

The biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever won was $390 million in March 2007.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mega Millions Website Suggests Saving for Retirement

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Given the long odds of winning Friday's $312 million Mega Millions jackpot, the multi-state lottery's website welcome page message to use your payout to "Save For Retirement" is a curious one -- and possibly a dangerous one, gambling experts say.

Those three words are etched above the image of a piggy bank against a clear blue sky on the Mega Millions website. It's one of a series of serving suggestions for your lottery "dreams" along with exotic trips and gifts.

But, you'll have better luck getting struck by lightning. And, given your life span you might have better odds of getting struck by lightning more than 5,000 times before winning the big prize Friday.

Asked about the homepage message, a spokeswoman for the 12-state lottery was quick to defend its 176 million-to-1 odds retirement plan.

"Whether you're dreaming about retirement or buying a home, the idea is to place your dream in that photo," said Carolyn Hapeman, Mega Millions spokesperson for New York state. "Playing the Mega Millions is not the way someone should try to better their financial situation but it's a nice way to save for your retirement should you win. It's a very bad idea to think you're going to better your situation with a wager on any lottery game."

In fact, with the very low chances of winning a substantial prize -- and the lottery's payback of just 50 percent of proceeds in winnings -- lotteries are a sure-fire way to lose money.

Since its inception in May 2002, Mega Millions has sold more than 21.88 billion tickets and 110 people have won the jackpot. Let's do the math: The cost of playing the Mega Millions is $1. Imagine you have a $25 a week lottery habit and the cost each year is $1,300. If you take that same $25 a week from the age of 21 to 65 years old and invest in a Roth IRA with a 7 percent return rate, you'll accumulate $346,000.

Of course, plenty of winners do change their lives with lottery wins. But it's no strategy for financial security.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Idaho Woman Claims $190M Mega Millions Pot, But Stays Out of Spotlight

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOISE, Idaho) -- A woman from northern Idaho has claimed her half of the second-largest lottery jackpot in history Wednesday, but the country's newest gazillionaire has decided to stay out of the spotlight.

Holly Lahti is the winner of the $190 million Mega Millions pot. She claimed her winning ticket Tuesday, lottery officials said. Lahti has asked the lottery that the location of her town not be identified beyond that it is located in northern Idaho.

"We expect that she will be coming forward shortly," a lottery representative announced at a press conference Wednesday. The representative did not want to comment on the winner, but did admit, "Well, when you win $190 million you're pretty excited."

The woman is one of two people to win the $380 million bonanza. She is believed to be a single mother with two children, according to ABC News affiliate KXLY.

Relatives tell the news station that the winner is "very deserving" of the ticket.

If Lahti intends to keep a low profile, she is living in the right place.

"If she wants to be left alone, Idaho people respect that, perhaps that's more than any other state," told Jeff Humphrey reporter for KXLY.

Lahti contrasts with her co-winner. Last week the winner of the other half of the bonanza, Jim McCullar, came forward in Ephrata, Wash., to claim his share of the jackpot.

McCullar spent more than 30 minutes regaling a news conference with stories about how he won, other prizes he has won and joking with his wife.

McCuller, 68, and his wife Carolyn live in Ephrata, Wash., a town of fewer than 7,000 people, where he works as a real estate agent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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