Winning the lottery is no easy task: depending on which lottery you play, the odds of winning are at least one in millions.
However, there are some people who seemed predestined to win the lottery, giving us incredible stories of overcoming adversity and life-changing opportunities.
Workers who were on the verge of going on the breadline, single mothers struggling daily to provide for their children, people stricken by illness and the loss of loved ones, or winners who used their prizes to change other people’s lives.
All of them managed to change their life by winning the lottery, as if they were destined to do so.
In this article, we bring back some of these stories, to continue to inspire those who play the lottery every day.
From rock bottom to become the richest Indian player by winning the $61 million Mega Millions jackpot
Sandeep Singh, a young man of Indian origin living in California, already felt that life was becoming a bit overwhelming when, at the age of 22, he had to juggle two jobs to make ends meet.
To make matters worse, his girlfriend had also just left him. Sandeep, who was known to his friends as ‘Sunny’, unknowingly made a life-changing decision: he bought a ticket for the Mega Millions lottery.
And luck finally knocked on his door, as he found out that his numbers matched the winning numbers of the $61,000 jackpot.
Although the prize had to be split between him and another winner, that didn’t stop him from becoming the richest Indian lottery player in history!
Sunny said he was always convinced that one day he would win the lottery.
With the prize, he was not only able to pay off the debts on his mother’s house, but he was also able to continue his studies and even donated part of his winnings to charity.
Sunny’s case has prompted thousands of Indian players to try their luck in the famous American lottery, which has awarded some of the biggest jackpots in history.
The good news is that, unlike Sunny’s case, it is no longer necessary to be a resident of the United States to play American lotteries.
Nowadays, it is possible to play Mega Millions online via international lottery operators, such as Lottofy.
On the verge of losing his ranch and going bankrupt: the story of the South Dakota cowboy who made USD 232 million in Powerball
Neal Wanless was not at his best in 2009. Like many other cowboys in South Dakota (one of the least prosperous places in the United States), the 22-year-old was struggling to keep his family ranch afloat:
he was behind on his taxes, didn’t have enough money to maintain his ranch and was about to be evicted along with his family.
As if fate had led him to that, one day when he happened to be shopping in the nearest town, he suddenly decided to buy a Powerball lottery ticket.
Why not try his luck? he asked himself, and bought a ticket with the numbers of his family members’ birthdays. That night, he even joked with his parents about what he would do if he won the jackpot.
You can imagine Neal’s astonishment when checking the lottery results, he realized he was the winner of one of the biggest jackpots in Powerball history:
USD 232 million! Overnight, life had completely turned around for Neal: not only could he now pay off all his debts and keep the family ranch afloat, but he also had plenty of money to dream big.
Eventually, he ended up buying the ranch of his dreams, a 47,883-acre property in Vale known as the Bismark Trail Ranch.
Today, the lucky winner is looking to sell his ranch so he can spend more time on his new ranch in Canada with his new family.
The property, which has a market value of $41.15 million, could be sold as one of the most expensive ranches ever sold in South Dakota.
The woman who had to take care of her 5 nephews, and ended up starting a film studio after winning the USD 112 million Powerball jackpot.
Cynthia Stafford could (literally) make a movie out of her life story.
By January 2007, things were very difficult for this California woman: after losing her brother who was killed by a drunk driver, she had to take care of her 5 nieces and nephews and, at the same time, help her father who was struggling to make ends meet.
At that time, a particular figure appeared in her dreams: 112 million.
Convinced that it was a sign, she spent the next years trying to earn that exact amount.
She started playing the Powerball lottery and doing all sorts of techniques to attract good luck, such as meditations and sleeping with her numbers under the pillow.
And finally, 3 years later, the big day came: she had won the Powerball jackpot, and the amount was no less than USD 112 million, the exact amount she had been dreaming of all this time!
With the money, she was not only able to help his family to ensure that they lacked for nothing, but she was also able to fulfill her lifelong dream:
to set up a film production company, Queen Nefertari Productions, which managed to put on several productions, even reaching the Board of Directors of the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles.
Turning winnings into opportunities for the underprivileged: Krishna Barri’s goal after winning $14.5 million Florida Lottery jackpot
This Indian player based in Tampa, Florida, is one of those inspiring examples of people who don’t hesitate to help others as soon as they can.
Upon winning the Florida Lottery jackpot in 2018, Barri didn’t think about spending the million-dollar prize on mansions, luxury cars or living like a millionaire for the rest of his life.
Instead, he used the prize to provide educational opportunities for hundreds of children in India.
With the prize money, Barri created a foundation in India in memory of his brother, with the aim of helping students by providing scholarships.
His brother, who had recently passed away, had been the person who had made it possible for Barri to attend the University of Southern California.
The couple who won the $181.2 million Powerball jackpot and started a foundation to fight the disease that killed their granddaughter
In 2008 Paul and Sue Rosenau were still recovering from the sad death of their 2-year-old granddaughter, Makayla, who had suffered from a rare degenerative condition called Krabbe disease.
In fact, that 4th May was the anniversary of their granddaughter’s death.
As the couple watched the evening news and the results of the Powerball draw began to be announced, Sue asked Paul if, by any chance, he had bought a ticket for the draw.
Paul, who was an occasional player, replied that he had indeed, and when they checked the numbers, they realised that they were the winners of the USD 180.1 million jackpot.
It was clear to them from the start what they should spend the money on.
They set up The Legacy of Angels Foundation, a centre dedicated to researching a cure for the disease that had killed their granddaughter.
The disease, which affects one in 100,000 newborns, had few treatment options at the time of Makayla’s death.
However, thanks to the work of this foundation, many important advances have been made today.
In addition, they also provide support to children with the disease and their families to help them through their treatment.
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