Entries in Lottery Winners (4)


Nation Waits for Identity of Mega Millions Winners 

Tim Boyle/Bloomberg News(RED BUD, Ill.) -- It's a mystery that may never be completely solved.

A third of the nation -- 100 million Americans -- played Mega Millions last week, and there are only three winning tickets, each worth $218 million.

The people who bought the winning tickets that were sold in Maryland and Kansas can remain anonymous because of state laws, but in Red Bud, Ill., population 3700, where lottery officials say the third winning ticket was purchased, the town is abuzz with the thought that someone there has suddenly become very rich.

"Who would have thought Red Bud would be put on the map," Red Bud resident Alice Proctor said.

It's a town where you most likely know your neighbor.

"Oh, it's exciting. It's exciting. You know, there's always, in small towns, there's always gossip going on. So it just gives everybody something to speculate about. And everybody's dreaming," Red Bud resident Joanne Cowell said.

And all along Illinois Highway 3, which runs through the middle of town, they are talking. Is it their neighbor who is the newest millionaire?

"Oh my gosh, everybody's just guessing. And rumors are flying," Proctor said.

Rumors, names popping up at the Country Kitchen: "Not me," they say.

Which is what Nadine Wright told her kids when they called.

"And I said, well, no sorry. You're on your own for a while yet," Wright said.

Anyone tired of being asked if they are the newest millionaire can now buy a T-shirt reading "Yes, I am from Red Bud. No, I am not the winner."

Lottery officials say Americans will find out who bought the winning ticket in Illinois, but only when whoever it is claims the prize, and that could be in days or weeks.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


CT Powerball Winners Make Good on Philanthropic Promise

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(GREENWICH, Conn.) -- Three Connecticut wealth managers who won a $254 lottery million jackpot followed through on their promise to put the money toward philanthropy, announcing on Sunday donations to five charities that assist veterans.

The first recipients will each receive $200,000. They are: The Bob Woodruff Foundation, Building Homes for Heroes, Services for the Under Served, Operation First Response, and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation, started by ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff -- who suffered a brain injury when a military vehicle in which he was traveling was struck by an IED in Iraq -- helps injured veterans reintegrate into everyday life following deployment.

Building Homes for Heroes constructs from the ground up and also modifies homes for wounded and disabled veterans.

Under Served supports, "individuals and families facing challenging life situations such as mental illness, developmental disability, physical disability, AIDS, homelessness, unemployment and poverty," according to its website, and also has a veteran's support group component.

Operation First Response helps the families of wounded soldiers deal with the domino of costs that can come from injury.  Peggy Baker, president of the charity, called the gift a "Christmas miracle."

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund supports the families of wounded soldiers and those killed in action.

The three trustees said they felt it was important to give back to a section of American society that is underserved.

"We are leveraging our professional experience and our collective success in money management to ensure these lottery dollars go far further than their face value," the three winners, who formed the Putnam Avenue Family Trust, said in a statement.

Money managers Greg Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff, and Tim Davidson came forward on Nov. 28 to claim the jackpot 27 days after the winning numbers were announcd.  All three work for wealth management firm Belpoint Capital in Greenwich, which manages $82 million, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Skidmore is the president and CEO of the company.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Massachusetts Lottery Closes Loophole after Big Wins

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(BRAINTREE, Mass.) -- It was great while it lasted, for the few who knew the trick and had the money to take advantage of it.

A lottery game in Massachusetts, known as Cash WinFall, had a potentially lucrative quirk, provided you knew about it. Every three months or so, if the WinFall jackpot exceeded $2 million but nobody picked all six of the randomly-chosen winning numbers, the money in the jackpot pool would go to people who picked only four or five correct numbers.

The Massachusetts Lottery said the odds of picking all six numbers were 1 in 9,366,819. But during so-called "rolldown weeks," someone who picked five numbers could win as much as $135,000 -- and the odds of success swung down to a much easier to beat 1 in 39,000.

If you bought enough tickets, the odds of making a profit could be very high, said a state official who asked not to be quoted by name.

The Lottery Commission said a Michigan couple, Gerald and Marjorie Selbee, both 73, periodically came to western Massachusetts to buy tickets in bulk, often by the hundreds of thousands. They even got themselves temporary jobs at local stores -- he in the town of South Deerfield, she in nearby Sunderland -- so that they could systematically sell themselves tickets without troubling store clerks.

It would be in a store's interest to have them, said officials; a store gets a 5 percent commission on every ticket sold, and a 1 percent bonus if it sells a winning ticket.

Messages left for the Selbees in Michigan and Massachusetts were not immediately returned. Apparently they ran a profit. Since July 1, the Lottery Commission says the company they set up for tax purposes "made 187 prize claims totaling $206,649." That did not include lottery tickets that won them amounts of $600 or less.

According to the Lottery Commission, the WinFall game has already been fading in popularity, and will be ended next year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Millions in Lottery Jackpots Expiring before Being Claimed

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you are the ticket holder for the winning Massachusetts Mega Millions consolation prize with the numbers 2, 7, 10, 16 and 29, we have some bad news for you. You have just missed your chance to claim $250,000.  The jackpot expired Wednesday.

In six more days, on Aug. 3, a $900,000 jackpot is in danger of becoming little more than wishful thinking for some unlucky "winner" in Florida.

ABC News has found at least six other jackpots ranging from $10,000 -- two in Arizona expiring Aug. 8 and Aug. 22 -- to $16.5 million -- in Iowa, expiring in December -- that are about to evaporate over the next four months.

Other prizes at risk of vanishing are $55,404 in Florida on Aug. 23, $297,525 in California next month and a California treasure of $226,991 on Sept. 22.  In a sampling of just four states, ABC News found $17.5 million of unclaimed prizes in danger of expiration, leaving would-be winners with not even a penny of their prize money.

Topping the annals of the biggest losers is Clarence Jackson, a Connecticut man who turned in his winning ticket three days too late in 1996, missing out on a $5 million bonanza.  Any unclaimed ticket has since been known in the business as a "Clarence Jackson."

Some poor -- or poorer -- lottery player is blissfully unaware of missing out on a $51.7 million Powerball ticket sold in Indiana in 2002.

Less heartbreaking, but still lucrative tickets expire every month throughout the country.  In fact, approximately 2 percent of lottery prizes in the U.S. go unclaimed each year, according to Alex Traverso, the spokesman for the California lottery.

That percentage may seem miniscule but in California alone that amounted to $17.25 million of unclaimed prize money last year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio