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Entries in Lottery (36)

Saturday
Jul272013

Couple Wins $1 Million on Lottery Ticket in Garbage

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass.) -- A Massachusetts couple was one trip to the garbage dump away from missing out on $1 million after they almost threw away a winning scratch-off lottery ticket.

Lucky for Joseph and Joanne Zagami, of North Attleborough, Mass., the couple remembered they had inadvertently disposed of their ticket, and dug it out of the trash to find that they had hit the jackpot.

Joanne Zagami told ABC News' Good Morning America she had sent her husband out to pick up groceries and lottery tickets after they were forced to cancel their vacation because their refrigerator broke.

But after unpacking, the couple merely forgot about the ticket and headed out to a casino to try their luck.

"Before going in [to the casino], my husband said, 'Where are the lottery tickets?'" Joanne Zagami said. "I said, 'What lottery tickets?' and he said, 'Oh my gosh, I think I must have thrown them away.'"

Joseph Zagami said he realized he'd thrown the tickets away, and dug through the trash the next morning to see whether he had picked a winner.

"I scratched the ticket, ran into the bedroom, and woke Joanne up," he said. "She looked at it and said, 'Oh my god! Wow!'"

"We've gone through death, we're going through a wedding, we're going through a child being born," Joseph Zagami said.

But the couple also plans to have some fun with their newfound winnings, and told Good Morning America they plan to kick back and "party."

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar112013

Ariz. Couple Who Won Million-Dollar Lottery Twice Credits Persistence

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- An Arizona couple who beat overwhelming odds to win a million-dollar lottery jackpot twice in less than 20 years says it was not luck, but persistence and a healthy dose of superstition that led to their wins.

Diane and Kerry Carmichael have just bagged a million dollars in the Arizona state lottery. The Tempe, Ariz., couple won $2.5 million in 1995.

“The odds of winning twice are in the billions to one,” Diane told ABC News.

She says that shattering such odds had little to do with gambling, but more with self-belief.

“When we first won, it wasn’t, if we were going to win again, it was when,” Diane said.  “About two years or so ago, the feeling returned.”

They say they have dropped $200 on lottery tickets every week, adding up to $10,000 every year, since 1984.  So, now, they’ve spent about $200,000 on tickets.

“It’s persistence,” she said.

They also mix in a little superstition.  They always buy from the same lottery office in Phoenix, and they have their method.  Still, the odds of this double win are stratospherically high.

Diane says that despite the two huge windfalls, she and her husband still live relatively modest lifestyles.

“We’re just not big spenders,” she said.  “We don’t have a big-screen TV.  Our cars are nine years and 13 years old, respectively.”

After their first win, the couple asked for their money in $125,000-per-year installments, with the last payment due next year.  They said they’re still going to play every week.

“I still think there’s one out there,” she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb142013

Defense Worker Buys $217 Million Winning Lotto Ticket

Courtesy of Virginia Lottery(FREDERICKSBURG, Va.) -- A Virginia husband and wife won the $217 million Powerball jackpot, the second-largest lotto prize ever won in the state.

Dave and Nancy Honeywell of Fredericksburg, Va., both work for the Defense Department.

Dave Honeywell, a computer scientist, bought the winning ticket at one of Richmond International Airport’s Lottery Express stations when he left for a business trip to Denver on Feb. 6.

His winning numbers were 5-27-36-38-41, chosen randomly through Easy Pick’s computer system. His prize is the state’s first Powerball jackpot win, the Virginia Lottery said.

According to the Virginia Lottery, Honeywell said that he plans to continue working.

After the prize was awarded, the Honeywells declined to comment further to the media.

On Valentine’s Day, he and his wife, a project manager, received a giant check at the spot where he bought the ticket. They chose the one-time cash option of $136.4 million before taxes.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb052013

Arkansas Couple Wins Lottery Twice in One Weekend

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery(NEW YORK) -- An Arkansas couple struck gold twice after winning $1 million and $50,000 jackpots, both of them during this past weekend.

Stephen, 54, and Terri Weaver, 55, of Stuttgart, Ark., left on Friday for a weekend trip to a cabin near Greers Ferry Lake, over 100 miles away.  On Saturday evening, they stopped at T-Ricks convenience store in the nearby city of Pangburn.  Stephen bought five $1 Million Riches instant scratch-off tickets while his wife bought four.

“We pick up a couple of tickets on the weekend when we go to our cabin on the river,” said Terri, an office manager with a water company.  “It’s a weekly thing.  We just pick up a few here and a few there.”

Once they brought the tickets to the cabin, they realized one of Stephen’s $20 tickets won the $1 million jackpot.

“I almost had a heart attack,” said Stephen, who owns a plumbing company.  “I had to have an aspirin.”

On Sunday, they stopped at the convenience store again and bought six tickets “just for the heck of it because it was fun,” Terri explained.

This time, Terri’s Taxes Paid instant ticket for which she paid $10 was a $50,000 winner.

“When she handed it to me, I fell back in my chair and almost went into cardiac arrest again,” Stephen said of the second ticket.  "We jumped around, hollered, and screamed.  It’s just not possible that it happened twice.  The odds must be astronomical.”

The couple, who have been married for 35 years and have a son in Tulsa, Okla., said they will continue to work in their respective jobs and pay off some bills.

“We’re going to put it in a little, or big, nest egg,” Stephen said.

The owner of the convenience store gets 1 percent of the winnings.  

"He’s pretty happy too,” Stephen said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan112013

Poisoned Lottery Winner's Exhumation Approved

Hemera/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A judge has approved the exhumation of the Chicago lottery winner who died of cyanide poisoning.

Judge Susan Coleman of the Probate Division of the Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois Friday approved the county medical examiner's request to exhume the body of Urooj Khan at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

Khan, 46, died July 20, 2012, from what was initially believed to be natural causes. But a family member whose identity has yet to be revealed asked the medical examiner's office to re-examine the cause of death, which was subsequently determined to be cyanide poisoning.

The office did so by retesting fluid samples that had been taken from Khan's body, including tests for cyanide and strychnine.

In explaining the request for exhumation, Chief Medical Examiner Stephen Cina has said, "If or when this goes to court, it would be nice to have all the data possible."

The Chicago businessman had won a $1 million lottery jackpot -- before taxes -- the month before he died.

In the latest legal twist, Khan's brother filed a petition Wednesday to a judge asking Citibank to release information about Khan's assets to "ultimately ensure" that [Khan's] minor daughter "receives her proper share." Khan reportedly did not have a will.

He left behind a widow, Shabana Ansari, 32, and a teenage daughter from his first marriage. Ansari and Khan reportedly married 12 years ago in India.

Authorities questioned Ansari in November and searched the home she shared with Khan. She and her attorney, Al Haroon Husain, say she had nothing to do with his death.

"It's sad that I lost my husband," she told ABC News. "I love him and I miss him. That's all I can say."

The siblings of the poisoned lottery winner have pursued legal action to protect their niece's share of her late father's estate. They also questioned whether he and Ansari were legally married, but Ansari's attorney said she has a marriage certificate from India that is valid in the United States.

ImTiaz Khan, 56, Khan's brother, and Meraj Khan, 37, their sister, had won a court order to freeze the lottery winnings after Ansari cashed the check.

Husain said Ansari cashed the lottery check after it was mailed to the home, which she did not request.

The lottery check, about $425,000 in cash, was issued July 19 by the Illinois Comptroller's Office, then mailed, according to Brad Hahn, spokesman for the Comptroller's Office. Hahn said it was cashed Aug. 15, nearly a month after Khan's death, but he did not know who cashed it.

The judge later approved Ansari's competing claim as an administrator of the estate.

"I don't care what they talk [sic]," Ansari told ABC News of what her in-laws are saying.

Ansari said she was married to Khan but declined to comment to ABC News about cashing the check after his death.

Meraj Khan filed in September to become the legal guardian of her niece. After the judge asked the 17-year old daughter with whom she wished to live, she chose her aunt and has been there since November, Husain said.

Neither sibling has petitioned to obtain a share of the dead man's estate, which is estimated to be $1.2 million in lottery winnings, real estate, Khan's laundry business and automobiles.

Neither the attorney for ImTiaz Khan nor the two siblings has responded to requests for comment.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan092013

Wife of Poisoned Lotto Winner: 'I Want the Truth to Come Out'

Ann Cutting/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The wife of a $1 million Chicago lottery winner who died of cyanide poisoning told ABC News that she was shocked to learn the true cause of his death and is cooperating with an ongoing homicide investigation.

"I want the truth to come out in the investigation, the sooner the better," said Shabana Ansari, 32, the wife of Urooj Khan, 46.  "Who could be that person who hurt him?"

"It has been an incredibly hard time," she added.  "We went from being the happiest the day we got the check.  It was the best sleep I've had.  And then the next day, everything was gone."

Ansari, Khan's second wife, told the Chicago Sun-Times that she prepared what would be her husband's last meal the night before Khan died unexpectedly on July 20.  It was a traditional beef-curry dinner attended by the married couple and their family, including Khan's 17-year-old daughter from a prior marriage, Jasmeen, and Ansari's father.

Not feeling well, Khan retired early, Ansari told the paper, falling asleep in a chair, waking up in agony, then collapsing in the middle of the night.  She called 911.

Khan, an immigrant from India who owned three dry-cleaning businesses in Chicago, won $1 million in a scratch-off Illinois Lottery game in June and said he planned to use the money to pay off his bills and mortgage, and make a contribution to the St. Jude Children's Research Center.

"Him winning the lottery was just his luck," Ansari told ABC News.  "He had already worked hard to be a millionaire before it."

Khan's unexpected death the month after his lottery win raised the suspicions of the Cook County medical examiner.  There were no signs of foul play or trauma so the death initially was attributed to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which covers heart attacks, stroke or ruptured aneurysms.  The medical examiner based the conclusion on an external exam -- not an autopsy -- and toxicology reports that indicated no presence of drugs or carbon monoxide.

Khan was buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

However, several days after a death certificate was issued, a family member requested that the medical examiner's office look further into Khan's death, Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina said.  The office did so by retesting fluid samples that had been taken from Khan's body, including tests for cyanide and strychnine.

When the final toxicology results came back in late November, they showed a lethal level of cyanide, which led to the homicide investigation, Cina said.  His office planned to exhume Khan's body within the next two weeks as part of the investigation.

Melissa Stratton, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department, confirmed it has been working closely with the medical examiner's office.  The police have not said whether or not they believe Khan's lottery winnings played a part in the homicide.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan072013

Body of Lotto Winner Who Died of Cyanide Poisoning Likely to Be Exhumed

Ann Cutting/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- The body of a $1 million lottery jackpot winner will likely be exhumed from Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago, according to the Cook County medical examiner, who determined that the winner died of cyanide poisoning.

Last June Urooj Khan, 46, won $1 million in a scratch-off lottery game, or $425,000 after taxes, but he died unexpectedly on July 20. Since there were no signs of foul play or any cause for suspicion, his death was attributed to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which covers heart attacks, stroke or ruptured aneurysm.

But a few days after the death certificate was issued, a family member called the medical examiner's office and asked that the death be investigated, said Dr. Stephen Cina, Cook County's chief medical examiner. Cina said he could not disclose the identity of the family member because of the ongoing investigation.

"We are in discussion with the state attorney about whether we are going to do an exhumation. Right now, we are leaning in that direction. We have a cause and matter of death on the books, and we're comfortable with that," Cina told ABC News. "If or when this goes to court, it would be nice to have all the data possible."

Cina said the final toxicology results came back in late November showing a lethal level of cyanide, which led to the homicide investigation. Melissa Stratton, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department, confirmed a murder investigation had been "under way," and that the police department had been working closely with the medical examiner's office.

Khan is survived by his wife, Shabana Ansari, 32, and teenage daughter. The family owned three dry-cleaning businesses in Chicago.

Ansari told the Chicago Tribune that Khan was "the best husband on the entire planet" and "extraordinary, nice, kind and lovable."

Ansari could not be reached by ABC News for comment.

The police are not confirming whether Khan's lottery winnings played a part in the homicide.

When asked why cyanide, a chemical asphyxiant that binds to red blood cells and prevents the entry of oxygen, was not found in the initial examination of Khan's body, Cina said, "Quite frankly, it's unusual as a cause of death, so it's not at the top of your mind."

He said about 50 percent of people can smell cyanide, but it is more noticeable when the body is opened up.

Sometimes the coloring of blood changes with cyanide poisoning after death, becoming "more reddish than purple," he said.

"In this case that wasn't particularly striking," Cina said, describing the first examination of Khan's body.

"It strangles your red blood cells at a biochemical level," he said.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec102012

DeeDee Moore Found Guilty in Murder of Florida Lottery Winner

Hemera/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- DeeDee Moore, the Tampa woman accused of swindling and then killing lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare, was found guilty today of first degree murder and other charges, after she declined to take the stand and the defense rested without calling a single witness.

In addition to the murder charge, Moore was also found guilty of possessing and discharging a firearm resulting in death. Prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty in the case, so Moore faces life in prison.

Prosecutors argued that Moore, 40, befriended Shakespeare before he vanished in April 2009 after he'd won $30 million in the Florida lottery. After Shakespeare had given away most of his money to people who simply asked for it, Moore agreed to manage the little he had left, but instead, prosecutors said, stole his winnings and killed him.

During a dramatic trial Moore has broken down in tears several times, and at one point said that she went into anaphylactic shock while in custody after taking the drug Bactrim when she was having problems with cuts on her ankles from being cuffed every day.

Early Monday the defense announced it would rest its case without calling any witnesses. Moore did not testify during her trial.

"There is no witness that can say she ever admitted to doing the killing or participating as a principle in helping anyone else do the killing," Moore's defense attorney Byron Hileman said Monday.

In the courtroom Monday morning, Moore's friend, former inmate Rose Condora was accused of threatening witnesses by Tampa Judge Emmett Battles, and was thrown out of the courtroom.

Authorities say Shakespeare, 47, was shot twice in the chest by a .38-caliber pistol sometime in April 2009. He wasn't reported missing until November 2009. His body was found under a slab of cement in a backyard in January 2010.

Polk County authorities claim Moore offered someone a $200,000 house in exchange for reporting a false sighting of Shakespeare. She also allegedly sent the victim's son $5,000 in cash for his birthday, and used the victim's cellphone to send text messages purportedly from him.

Shakespeare's mother, Elizabeth Walker, also testified that Moore tried to hide that her son was missing, and said that he had AIDS.

Sentorria Butler, Shakespeare's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, also testified. Butler told the court last week that Moore is a divisive and manipulative woman who told her Shakespeare, "ran off with the lady from the bank."

During the trial, jurors also watched a Walmart surveillance video that the prosecution said links Moore to Shakespeare's killing. The footage shows Moore making a $104 cash purchase of gloves, duct tape, plastic sheeting and other items detectives later found close to where Shakespeare's body was buried.

Jurors hearing the case also heard a rambling two-page letter that witness Greg Smith, a police informant who was a former friend of Shakespeare and supposed friend of Moore, says Moore allegedly forged while at a Comfort Inn & Suites in Lakeland, Fla.

The letter was meant to appear to be from Shakespeare, prosecutors said. They say the letter was a ruse to convince Shakespeare's mother that he was still alive. Moore attempted to cover her tracks while it was written, according to prosecutors.

During the trial, jurors had to be accompanied by a security escort into the courtroom after they told the judge Smith and Shakespeare's family and friends were making them feel uncomfortable outside the courthouse. None of the jurors had to be excused by the judge.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec072012

Florida Lottery Murder Trial: Victim's Ex Calls Suspect Manipulative

Hemera/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The ex-girlfriend of Abraham Shakespeare, the Florida lotto winner who prosecutors say was swindled out of his money and killed by Dee Dee Moore, testified at Moore's trial that Moore lied to her about Shakespeare's running off with another woman when he disappeared.

Sentorria Butler, Shakespeare's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, told the court on the ninth day of the trial Thursday that Moore is a divisive and manipulative woman.

"She [Moore] said he ran off with the lady from the bank, and that he wasn't coming back," Butler said.  "She wanted me to be so mad with him."

Prosecutors say that Moore, 40, befriended Shakespeare before he vanished in April 2009 after he'd won $30 million in the Florida lottery.  After Shakespeare had given away most of his money to people who simply asked for it, Moore agreed to manage the little he had left, but instead, prosecutors say, stole his winnings and killed him.

After days of crying in court throughout the trial, Moore had another emotional outburst on Thursday after Butler's testimony.  Tampa, Fla., Judge Emmett Battles temporarily stopped the trial so Moore could pull herself together.

"Ms. Moore, I'm going to tell you once again, you need to compose yourself. ... Do you want another moment to talk to your lawyer?" Battles asked.

Moore was so distraught by Butler's testimony that she yelled out at one point, "I'm tired of these people lying.  This is my life."

Moore then insisted that her lawyers, against their better judgment, show portions of a home video she had shot of Butler that Moore believe proved Butler was lying on the witness stand.  Butler said Moore had told her that the video was being shot for the website mybabydaddy.com.

Butler testified that Moore manipulated her and got her to say on camera that Shakespeare beat her, and that he had AIDS.  Butler said she was lying in the video.

"She showed up with a camera and asked me to participate in her foolish thing of, 'I want to make this thing up, and put it online," Butler told the court.

Jurors also watched a Walmart surveillance video that the prosecution says links Moore to Shakespeare's killing.  The footage shows Moore making a $104 cash purchase of gloves, duct tape, plastic sheeting and other items that detectives later found close to where Shakespeare's body was buried.

An informant testified earlier in the trial that he told Moore he would need the items to get rid of Shakespeare's body.

Moore maintains her innocence, saying she was trying to help Shakespeare collect unpaid debts and protect him from the many people trying to take advantage of him.

Prosecutors are not pursuing the death penalty in the case.  If Moore is convicted, she faces life in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec042012

Florida Lotto Murder Trial: Judge Orders Escorts for Jittery Jurors

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The jurors hearing the murder trial of DeeDee Moore, the Florida woman accused of killing lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare, will be accompanied by a security escort into the courtroom after they told the judge that a witness and Shakespeare's family and friends were making them feel uncomfortable outside the courthouse.

Prosecutors say that Moore, 40, befriended Shakespeare, who disappeared in April 2009, after he won $30 million in the Florida lottery.  After Shakespeare burned through most of the money, Moore agreed to manage the little he had left, but instead, prosecutors say, she stole his money and killed him.

Moore has denied the charges.

Two jurors identified witness Greg Smith, a former friend of Shakespeare, 47, and supposed friend of Moore, as the person they said made them feel uncomfortable in the parking garage after Friday's session.  A third juror said some members of the gallery made her feel uncomfortable.

In court, Tampa, Fla., Judge Emmett Battles asked a juror whether the perception that she had been stared down by the witness and Shakespeare's friends and family would affect her ability to be fair and impartial in the case.

"No, I just want to feel safe," the juror said.

None of the jurors have been excused by the judge.

On Monday, the jurors focused on a rambling two-page letter that Smith, a police informant, says Moore allegedly forged while at a Comfort Inn & Suites in Lakeland, Fla., which was meant to appear to be from Shakespeare, prosecutors say.  They say the letter was a ruse to convince Shakespeare's mother that he was still alive.  Moore attempted to cover her tracks while it was written, according to prosecutors.

"She had a brand-new laptop, set up and a printer, [and] she had a rubber-type gloves on," Smith testified.  "And a scarf pullover-type thing over her head."

Smith testified that he was informing police of his interactions with Moore as he pretended to help her create the illusion that Shakespeare was still alive.  In court, Smith read in its entirety the letter that prosecutors say Moore forged.

"Don't worry about Dee," the letter read.  "There are too many people that know I left.  I gave her enough money … she would not take anything from me unless I agreed."

At one point in the motel room, which had been wired for audio by police, Moore said, "This letter will buy me time to go to Miami before I get arrested."

Shortly after the letter was written, Shakespeare's body was found buried under a slab of concrete in Moore's backyard.

Jurors on Monday also listened to a recorded conversation in which Moore admitted she was afraid of being arrested.  She had the conversation with Smith as she drove him to Shakespeare's mother's house to drop off the letter.

Moore maintains her innocence, saying she was trying to help Shakespeare collect unpaid debts and protect him from the many people trying to take advantage of him.  Her defense attorneys have argued that the evidence against her is circumstantial, and that Moore's gun might have been used to shoot Shakespeare, but noted that ballistics tests were incomplete.

Prosecutors are not pursuing the death penalty in the case.  If Moore is convicted, she faces life in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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