TIME Australia

Former Co-Workers Sue Australian Man Over a $12.5 Million Powerball Prize

He says he won the prize with a ticket he bought for himself, not for them

A man from the state of Victoria, Australia, who was part of a 16-person lottery syndicate with his colleagues, has been accused of making off with roughly $12.5 million in lottery winnings.

But Gary Baron, who was entrusted to buy tickets on behalf of the syndicate, says he won the Powerball prize with a ticket that he had bought separately, reports the Age newspaper.

The 49-year-old former courier says he has evidence to substantiate his claim. But 14 members of his former syndicate are taking Supreme Court action against him on Thursday, in which they will say they have a right to an equal share of the prize money.

According to the Age, Baron repeatedly denied winning the money to several colleagues, and reportedly told one former co-worker that he had received a large inheritance.

[The Age]

TIME society

Try to Be Happy For the Couple That Just Won the Lottery for the Second Time

They also once won a Jaguar because...why not?

April Fools’ pranks might be everywhere on the Internet today, but this isn’t one of them.

A U.K. couple won £1 million ($1.22 million USD) from the EuroMillions lottery last week for the second time in as many years. They amazingly beat the 283-billion-to-one odds and made sure to celebrate accordingly.

David and Kathleen Long had been engaged for 12 years before purchasing their first winning ticket in 2013 that bankrolled their “smashing” wedding.

“David was always convinced he’d win big,” Kathleen told the Mirror. “It’s brilliant.”

Long, who also reportedly won a Jaguar because why not, got that feeling again last week. “I just knew it would be my turn again some day,” David Long told The Guardian.

His trick seems easy to replicate: “Just believe that one day you will do it.”

So that’s what you’ve been doing wrong.

TIME Lottery

The Powerball Jackpot Is Set to Reach $450 Million

A store clerk hands a customer his Powerball ticket at a local grocery store in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015
Alan Diaz—AP A store clerk hands a customer his Powerball ticket at a local grocery store in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015

But you're far more likely to play in the NBA than win this haul

The odds of winning the Powerball Grand Prize are 1 in 175,223,510. For this week, however, you can keep believing.

No one claimed Powerball’s estimated $394 million jackpot over the weekend, meaning the prize for the next draw will be around $450 million (or $304.1 million for a cash payout) according to the Powerball website.

That’s $140 million short of the record $590.5 million — won on May 18, 2013 by 84-year-old Gloria Mackenzie of Zephyrhills, Fla. — but who’s complaining?

The next draw will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

TIME Lottery

Powerball Jackpot Hits $380 Million

A store clerk pulls a Powerball ticket after being printed for a customer at a local grocery store in Hialeah, Fla. on Feb. 4, 2015.
Alan Diaz—AP A store clerk pulls a Powerball ticket after being printed for a customer at a local grocery store in Hialeah, Fla. on Feb. 4, 2015.

The odds of winning are 1 in 175 million

The Powerball jackpot will be up to $380 million on Saturday, one of the largest in the lottery’s history.

Powerball jackpots begin at $40 million and increase with each drawing that fails to produce a winner. The biggest Powerball jackpot ever awarded was $590.5 million in 2013, Reuters reports.

Powerball is played in 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. But before you run out to buy a ticket with hopes of the $380 million in your future, remember that the odds of winning are 1 in 175 million.

TIME Bizarre

How 7 Seconds Cost a Man $21 Million

Getty Images

Joel Ifergan's winning lottery ticket printed out seconds too late

A Québécois man missed out on winning a lottery jackpot worth $21.4 million (27 million Canadian dollars) because his winning ticket printed out seven seconds too late.

A Canadian court dismissed Joel Ifergan’s appeal Thursday after the almost-but-not-quite-winner said that he should still be eligible to win half the prize money.

Ifergan bought two Super 7 lottery tickets at 8:59 p.m. for the May 23, 2008 jackpot. But while one ticket was eligible for the 23rd, the second was printed out after the clock struck nine, and only counted for the May 30 jackpot. And as fate would have it, the ticket marked for the 30th had the winning numbers for the 23rd.

Ifergan blames Loto-Quebec’s ten second processing delay.

After spending years and at least $80,000 on the case, Ifergan tells CTV, “Yes, it cost me a lot of money, but it also consumed me for seven years.”

[CTV]

TIME Bizarre

New Hampshire Lottery Releases Bacon-Scented Scratch Ticket

It'll certainly gives new meaning to the phrase "bringing home the bacon"

The New Hampshire state lottery is now offering a lottery ticket that smells like bacon.

The new tickets, which are scratch-n-sniff and read “I Heart Bacon,” were released Jan. 5. Winners can take home $1,000 and the odds of making at least a dollar are one in 4.12, the website says. Plus, you know, it just smells delicious.

To promote the new ticket, bacon trucks will visit various locations in the state, handing out free samples of applewood smoked bacon as well as offering lottery tickets.

Last week, around 700,000 tickets were sold, MarketWatch reports, making the bacon lottery the best selling $1 ticket.

TIME New Mexico

$500,000 Winning Lottery Ticket Deemed a ‘Misprint’

It's a classic rags-to-riches story. Only without the riches

A New Mexico resident believes he is owed $500,000 for what appears to be a winning lottery ticket. However, the New Mexico Lottery says the ticket was a misprint so it doesn’t have to be honored.

John Wines purchased the scratch-off ticket in Roswell, New Mexico in December. The ticket showed two winning numbers for $250,000 each, even though the maximum prize for a single scratch-off card is supposed to be $250,000. Some of the winning numbers are also obscured on the ticket. When Wines returned to the gas station where he bought the ticket, to claim his prize, he was told that the card was a misprint. New Mexico Lottery also refused to validate the ticket when he contacted them by email.

Wines believes dismissing the ticket as a misprint is unfair. “It’s like I told them, I didn’t misprint it,” he told KFOR. “I bought the ticket in good faith thinking if I won I was going to get my money.”

As a consolation prize, New Mexico Lottery offered Wines $100—in free lottery tickets.

[KFOR]

TIME Bizarre

A Baltimore Truck Driver Has Won the Maryland Lottery for a Second Time

Some people really do have all the luck

“It’s great to be back” is something not many people get to say to lottery officials while collecting their winnings.

But those were the exact words uttered by a Baltimore truck driver last week after he won the Maryland Lottery for the second time, the Baltimore Sun reported.

The unidentified 39-year-old driver only realized he had won the $2.85 million jackpot when he heard the winning ticket came from a Safeway in Waldorf, Md., where he had bought one after stopping to fill gas.

The man had previously netted $250,000 in a second-tier Mega Millions prize in 2005, which he said he used for a down payment on a house. He reportedly plans to use his second jackpot to pay off the house and save for his two sons. And, of course, take a vacation.

[Baltimore Sun]

MONEY gambling

Spain’s Lottery Awards $3 Billion in Time for Christmas

Winning El Gordo, the grand prize in Spain's 200-year-old annual nationwide lottery, can turn small towns wealthy overnight.

MONEY Leisure

Why a Hyped New Lottery Game Went Bust in a Hurry

The "Monopoly Millionaire's Club" lottery launch at Times Square on October 20, 2014 in New York City.
Andrew H. Walker—Getty Images The "Monopoly Millionaire's Club" lottery launch at Times Square on October 20, 2014 in New York City.

A new Monopoly-themed lottery game was expected to be popular enough to warrant its own TV show. But the game has already been killed after flopping with lottery players, who often had no clue if they won or lost.

State lottery sales have largely gone flat at the same time that much of the country has come to rely more and more on the revenues sanctioned gambling provides. To boost sales, state lottery commissions are constantly trying to capture the imagination (and dollars) of players by rolling out exciting new games. As one economist explained to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this past summer, a lottery game “follows a life cycle like any product… You get this increase in sales. It peaks. People get used to it, and then you get this slowdown.”

Hence the need to regularly create and market new lottery games, like the Monopoly Millionaires Club, introduced in 23 states in October as the first multi-state lottery game to hit the scene in 12 years. At the time, state lottery commission press releases (like one published for Arizona) and news outlets in participating states (such as New Jersey) had trouble explaining all of the game’s particulars. It was a “two-pronged game,” but with potentially multiple winners and “three different ways to win a million dollars,” and each ticket came with a series of numbers as well as a traditional Monopoly property, like Marvin Gardens or B&O Railroad. Anyone with a ticket matching all six numbers would win the jackpot (starting at $15 million), and when a jackpot was awarded, other randomly selected players would win $1 million apiece. But if nobody won the jackpot, nobody else was eligible to win $1 million either.

Oh, and players were supposed to enter an online sweepstakes to win a trip to Las Vegas to be on the associated TV show, to be hosted by Billy Gardell (Mike on “Mike & Molly”), where more millions could be awarded. And each ticket cost a pricey $5. “This $5 price point strengthens the game’s play value while differentiating it within lottery draw game portfolios,” the Arizona press release explained. Whatever that means.

From the get-go, people were puzzled. “Monopoly Millionaires’ Club is like a cross between Powerball, the Pennsylvania Lottery’s Millionaire Raffle, and McDonald’s Monopoly game, which makes people collect various game pieces,” one Philadelphia Inquirer writer summed up. “Plus, there’s a TV show,” and unlike popular scratch-off lottery tickets, “there’s nothing ‘instant’ about” about the Monopoly game. While it could possibly pay off big-time for players, the game was so confusing it might “set records for people who fail to realize they won, as well as people who mistakenly think they did.”

Turns out people don’t like confusing lottery games involving delayed gratification, and they certainly don’t like forking over $5 a pop to play such games. Citing “sales that have not met the lottery industry’s projections,” Texas announced last week that it was suspending the Monopoly game, and all other states followed suit recently. By December 26, the game will disappear nationally. To borrow from Monopoly lingo, this game is going indefinitely to jail. Do not pass Go; do not collect $200—or any amount.

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