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10 Absolutely Insane Stories about People Who Won a Lottery

Winning a lottery is a dream that most people will never achieve in their lifetime. But for a few who do manage to do that, their lives do not remain the same, and things often get better. However, there have been times when winning a lottery changed the lives of winners in a frenzied and unexpected way, and their stories became somewhat close to legends. Here are 10 such insane stories of people who won a lottery.

1. A North Carolina woman named Glenda Blackwell in 2016 brought a scratch-off lottery ticket just to prove to her husband that buying lottery tickets was a waste of money. She ended up winning $1 million on that very ticket.

Glenda Blackwell of Leicester was tired of her husband spending money on lottery tickets that she thought would never bring any returns. She believed they were waste of money, and so when in October 2016 her husband, Buddy, asked her to buy him two Powerball tickets, she instead went on to buy a $10 Carolina Millions scratch-off ticket for herself. She was planning to act indignant and prove to him how worthless it was to spend money on them. She had to eat her words eventually as the very ticket she bought to teach Buddy a lesson ended up winning $1 million. She could now fulfill her dream of buying a home and get her children a better education. (source)

2. In 1984, a police detective from Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. offered a waitress at a pizzeria instead of a tip, half of the winnings if he won a lottery. She helped him choose the numbers. Robert Cunningham went on to win the lottery and he tipped her $3 million, half of the $6 million prize money.

In 1985 on a usual day at Sal’s Pizzeria in nearby Yonkers, N.Y., police detective Robert Cunningham who was a regular customer there made a deal with Phyllis Penzo, a waitress, that instead of a tip he would give her half of anything he would win out of a $1-per-ticket New York State Lotto Competition. Phyllis agreed and helped him choose a number then and there.

On April 1, Cunningham phoned Phyllis when she was still sleeping and declared that his ticket had won $6 million. Phyllis thought it was an April Fool’s Day prank at first, but when Cunningham reiterated, she started screaming in excitement. Phyllis received her tip of $3 million as she was promised. (source)

3. A man named Stefan Mandel in 1992 won a $27,036,142 jackpot, six second prizes, 132 third prizes, and 135 minor prizes in one lottery which had over 5.5 million tickets. He reportedly used an algorithm he wrote to predict the winning numbers.

A struggling economist of Romania, Stefan Mandel, in 1992, decided to turn his life around by winning lotteries when people were turning to crime in Communist Romania which was marred by poverty and unemployment. Mandel was earning about $88 per month and described himself as a weekend mathematician. He was a gifted mathematician and would spend every spare minute studying papers of 13th-century mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci, He eventually devised an algorithm using which he claimed he could predict five of the six winning numbers.

With complete faith in his math, he took the risk of buying blocks of tickets by pooling money from others, and what happened next was one of the most impossible things you’ll ever hear. He not only hit the jackpot of $20 million, but also won six second prizes, 132 third prizes, and 135 other minor prizes. He had earned enough to flee from Romania and start a new life with his wife and two children. (source)

4. Joan R. Ginther from Texas, a reclusive Ph.D. holder in statistics, won multiple lotteries and amassed a fortune of $20 million. The odds of this happening is believed to be one in 18 septillion and could only happen once in a quadrillion years.

Joan R. Ginther is either the luckiest person on Earth or a pure genius who cracked the code of how to win a lottery. Between 1993 and 2010, she won a total of $20.4 million by winning state lotteries on four different occasions. The probability of this happening is one in 18 septillion and could only happen once in a million billion years. Joan is a former math professor and has a Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University.

She won her first lottery worth $5.4 million in 1993. A decade later, she won another $2 million lottery. Two years after that, she won a$3 million lottery. Her last win came in 2010 when she hit her biggest yet of a $10 million jackpot. Oddly enough, all her tickets were bought from Texas, and three of the four were bought from the same store in the town of Bishop. (source)

5. After winning a $1.3 million lottery in 1996, a woman decided to keep the news of her winning a secret and instead filed for divorce from her husband just to avoid splitting the prize money. The husband came to know about this and sued her. The judge ordered her to give him 100% of the winnings.

On December 28, 1996, Denise Rossi of California and five of her co-workers who pooled together money and bought a lottery ticket, won the jackpot of $6.6 million. Each of them got their fair share of $1.3 million. Denise, however, kept her winnings a secret from her husband and decided instead to divorce him just 11 days after that so that she need not share her money with him, ending their marriage of 25 years.

Two years after that, her husband discovered the real reason behind the divorce and sued his now ex-wife for hiding property details from him and the court. Denise admitted in the court papers that she did hide the winnings and was found guilty of fraud and malice under Family Code Sec. 1101(h). She even hid it from her lawyer.

The judge eventually ordered her to hand over the entire sum she won to her ex-husband in 20 annual installments of $66,800. (source)

Winning a lottery is often a dream for many realized by a few. Here are 10 absolutely insane stories of those people who won a lottery.