What Are the Odds of Hitting the Jackpot in the First Place?
Before we delve into the main topic and some of the crazy lottery winner stories we want to start off with something fun. The people on this list have been extremely fortunate at hitting the jackpot. In fact, if we take Powerball as an example, the odds of getting all the numbers right are roughly 1 to 292 million. Charles Jackson, with his fortune cookie luck, was this one person. Just to put things in perspective, we’ve gathered a list of outlandish things that are more likely to happen to you, when compared with hitting the coveted Powerball mega-million jackpot.
|Get hit by a lightning||1-in-15000|
|Suffer a Plane Crash Death||1-in-188000|
|Give Birth to Conjointed Twins||1-in-200000|
|Killed by a Meteorite||1-in-700000|
|Suffer a Shark Attack||1-in-3.7 million|
|Die from Hot Tap Water||1-in-5 million|
|Killed by a Vending Machine||1-in-112 million|
Just imagine the sheer amount of luck you need to have, in order to hit it. It is twice more likely to get killed by a random vending machine, which we cannot even comprehend how possibly it can happen. The good news is that no one can really measure one’s luck levels. You never know if all it will take is just one single ticket purchase or spend thousands and thousands before you are able to get your hands on the largest lottery jackpots. Some people can’t manage it in an entire lifetime.
Crazy Lottery Winner Stories
There will be no particular order to the following crazy lottery stories. We won’t try to classify them from least to most absurd. They are all worthy of your time and will serve as a great example that even against all odds, you never know what fate has in store for you in the form of the most inconceivable and hard-to-believe shapes and forms.
Frane Selak – As Lucky, as He Is Unlucky
The now 90-years-old Croatian has had so much misfortune and fortune at the same time throughout his life, that many believe even an entire movie won’t serve justice to his “adventurous” life. According to reports and Frane himself, he has escaped death a total of 7 times in absurd scenarios that many will consider as their biggest nightmares. Just take a look at the list below:
- 1962 – The train he was riding on derailed and plunged into an icy river. 17 people died but Frane survived.
- 1963 – While on a plane, the back door was blown out and he got sucked out of the plane. 19 people died but he survived thanks to landing in a haystack
- 1966 – A bus he was on drove into a river. 4 passengers died and he managed to swim to shore unharmed.
- 1970 – While in his car, it caught fire and moments before the engine blew up, Frane managed to cheat death and escape the vehicle.
- 1973 – Due to a malfunctioning fuel pump, the air vents of his car started shooting fire, completely burning his hair, but he otherwise being unharmed.
- 1995 – While walking around in Zagreb, Frane got hit by a moving bus and escaped with minor injuries only.
- 1996 – A head-on collision with a bus in the Croatian mountains caused his car to plummet in a 90-meter deep gorge. Not before he was able to jump out of his car, grab a tree branch and watch as his car crashes and burns.
It’s difficult to argue, which one is worse. We most certainly would never ever go in any vehicle with this guy. Why is he on this list though? Well, after all the near-death experiences in 2003, he won £600000 from the local lottery after – what he claims to be – his 1st try. Quite a fancy way to end the streak of unfortunate events with fortunate outcomes. Since then, no new reports have surfaced on any new encounters and hopefully never will.
Michael Carroll – A Brief Guide to How Not to Spend Your Fortune
This is one of the lottery winners success stories that only started this way and then it turned out to be among the lottery winners bad stories… What it is, is a classic example of what happens with a man when he gets too rich too suddenly. And we don’t mean it in a good way. This fellow won the astounding £9.7 million from the National Lottery of UK. He spent his last £4 on the ticket and received an amount that could have changed his life for the better. What did he do with it? He changed his life but certainly not for the better. What followed was a decade-long downward spiral that had Michael spent his fortune on drugs, prostitutes, and bailouts.
His pregnant wife divorced him soon after his mega win due to his infidelities and he started living a life that circled only around booze-infused party life in the company of different women and drugs on silver platters. Reposts claim that he was snorting £2000 worth of cocaine on a daily basis and his house was known as an orgy mecca, with him sleeping with up to 8 different females at a given night. Wrecking houses, properties and cars was a daily routine. Where is he now? Today, Michael is delivering logs for £10 an hour, living a peaceful life, and not regretting anything he has done or spent money on. Just think of the more useful ways these funds can be allocated, even if its for one’s personal growth.
Carl Atwood – A Short-lived Win
Carl Atwood’s story is not a long one. He was supposed to be one of your everyday lottery winner stories where he wins, gets the prize, and does something admirable with it. Unfortunately, fate had other plans for him. Back in 2004, he won $57000 in a television lottery game show in the state of Indiana.
Approximately 2 hours after it wrapped, he got hit by a pickup truck while he was on his way to the grocery store where he bought the ticket securing him the winning amount. Unfortunately, he passed away a few hours later at the local hospital. If this isn’t an unfortunate turn of events, we don’t know what is.
Kevin Hatcher – Bad Decision-Making Can Cost You
This qualifies as one of the funny lottery stories. Back in 1995, this 18-year-old man from Kent was faced with – what he wasn’t aware of at the time – a life-changing dilemma. On one hand, he was supposed to invest 50p into the lottery syndicate before the upcoming number draw. On the other hand, he was craving a beer with his friends that required the same investment. The beverage ended up being more important for him and his friend Paul who took his place snagged £900000 out of £2.7 million right under his nose due to his poor decision making. Soon after, while the members of the syndicate were wondering what new car to buy and which exotic destination to visit, Kevin was still struggling to get enough money to allow himself a pint of beer. This truly is an unfortunate turn of events and one of the most lottery winners bad stories.
Charles Jackson – A Multi-Million Dollar Fortune Cookie
Now, this is what we call a true member of the lottery winners success stories club. Just recently, in 2019, Charles Jackson, a happy granddad from North Carolina never imagined that he would become filthy rich thanks to a fortune cookie his granddaughter got, not even in his wildest dreams. It’s a very simple story. Charles was given the numbers that came out from the inside of a fortune cookie at a local Vietnamese restaurant. He used them for the Powerball ticket that he purchased and won.
Initially, he thought he had scored $50000 only to realise that, in fact, he had hit the jackpot or the mind-boggling $344.6 million. Opting for the lump-sum payment, he got $233 million immediately and said he would spend money on charity and give to his family, among other things. We can only imagine how he and everybody in his surroundings felt the moment they found out. Hopefully, Charles will spend them much wiser than Michael, whom we spoke off earlier.
William Post – More Money, More Problems
The last case we’ll share with you is far from being a successful one. In fact, it is among the more crazy lottery winner stories. It all started well when Post won the whopping $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery back in 1988. A curious fact that is a bit off-topic is that the state currently offers a lot of gambling possibilities and in case you are interested, you can read more about online gambling in Pennsylvania. Anyway, back to William Post… He ended up being bankrupt just a short time after he had won. How he got there was not just a matter of bad decision skills, but was attributed to rather dreadful and greedy family members and circle of friends, as well.
To start it off, his brother hired a hitman to try and kill William and his wife at the time with the hope to inherit his winnings. His other siblings deceived him into making bad investments into their restaurant businesses only to cost him a considerable chunk of the prize. Moreover, his landlord tricked him into stealing some of it, as well. He was even arrested for pulling out a gun and firing at a bill collector. It really is a pity how everything turned out for the man, who already had a pretty tough life growing up and finding his ground to begin with.
What Can These Lottery Winner Stories Teach Us?
We have tried to include many various scenarios on how a jackpot can be won and its possible implications on one’s life, as well. Winning is all about luck. It’s how you will deal with the gargantuan amount that will define whether you will become another addition to the already impressive list of crazy lottery winner stories or not. We have allowed ourselves to make a list of possibilities that can serve as a platform for you to put the money to good use and have you steer clear of any possibility to invest in crazy things.
What to Do if You Win the Lottery:
- Find a Financial Advisor – This is crucial and probably the very first thing you should do, especially if you don’t have a financial background. Such a person can give you an objective opinion on what are reasonable ways to approach the newly acquired sum. Do make sure to seek a person with credibility and legitimate background
- Invest – Doing short-and-long-term investments is always a good idea to maintain and hopefully increase the amount over time. Do be careful what you invest in. Seek counsel from people that have considerable experience on the matter and will provide you with valuable insights. That is if your background doesn’t allow it, of course.
- Travel the World – Travelling is definitely something everybody should do more often. It is such an enriching and rewarding experience that can definitely teach you a thing or two about living your life. There are so many beautiful destinations and sights to see, that even a lifetime won’t be enough to see them, as the old proverb says. What better way to spend some money on than a dreamy vacation with no end date.
- Start Your Own Business – Everybody’s good at something. Now that you have what seems to be all the money in the world, why not invest in building your own business off of what you love doing the most? The feeling of creating your own “baby” and seeing it grow is extremely fulfilling. Plus, you will get to earn more money in the process, not just waste it.
- Donate to Charity – Congratulations! Your luck stroke gold and you have been fortunate enough to win gazillion pounds. Remember that there are millions of people around the world who are far from lucky and live in inhumane conditions well below the poverty line. Donating to a charitable cause or an organization that fights with the preservation of the flora and fauna will help save lives, literally.
What Not to Do if You Win the Lottery:
Now that we’ve covered some of the Do’s, here are some of the Don’t’s. It’s very easy to get your mind clouded when you get super rich super suddenly. Be careful not to go down a path it will be difficult to get back from.
- Bragging – Stay anonymous. Unnecessary bragging will only attract unwanted attention. People are selfish and you will be surprised by the lengths one is willing to go when the eyes suddenly turn into a dollar sign.
- Be Careful Who You Give Money To – If the stories above have showcased one thing, it is that even your beloved family can quickly turn on you for a piece of the prize. Be extremely careful and diligent when it comes to the “who gets what” situation.
- Don’t Spend on Addiction-Inducing Things – Learn from Michael Carroll. Nothing good will come out of it in the long-term. When you think about it, is really a year-long party life full of booze, drugs, chicas, and chicos, worth what can possibly be a life for you and your kids void of financial worries? If you are prone to addicting habits, gambling is definitely out of the question for you, as well.
- Don’t Overspend – Remember, that even wealthy people need to be smart about their money and investments. Don’t think that budgeting is for the low and middle classes only. Be smart about what, how, and who you spend for. We all want to buy things for ourselves and our loved one and there is nothing bad about it. Just don’t go overboard. The society tricks you into thinking that you need many things and stuff that you actually don’t at all. Control yourself or you will get wiped out pretty quickly.
Crazy Lottery Stories Summary
People are interested in knowing all the crazy things that happen around the world, and the lottery is definitely part of the conversation. The extra lengths people go to, to either win or subsequently with the winnings are just flat out insane sometimes. This naturally results in often searched stories and articles regarding all things jackpot. As a wrap up on this article, we have collected some of the more frequently asked queries that people are dying to know the answer to.