Extraordinary Tales of the Biggest Lottery Winners

Quickly scribble in your birthday, throw down a few dollars for a ticket, and keep your fingers crossed. The next thing you know, you’re sipping cocktails by the pool in a million dollar mansion. Even if you’re more likely to get struck by lightning, all of us dream of striking it rich winning the lottery.

For some lucky people, the dream of becoming big lottery winners came true. How much luck do these big lottery winners really have? Here’s how odds of big lottery wins stack up:odds lightning

  • Odds of winning the EuroMillions by matching five numbers, plus two “Lucky Stars” numbers: 1 in 116 million
  • Odds of winning 2nd place $1 million prize MegaMillions by matching five numbers: 1 in 18.5 million
  • Odds of getting struck by lightning: 1 in 3,000
  • Odds of being injured by a toilet this year: 1 in 10,000
  • Odds of getting killed by a shark: 1 in 3.7 million

 

With the odds of getting injured by a toilet or losing a battle against a shark even more likely than big lottery wins, it seems incredible that these people managed to take home the big prize. Yet for guys like Ed Nabors, this dream became a reality when he won one of the biggest lottery wins in history.

ed nabors lottery winner

“Eddie” Nabors holds a pillow embroidered with the words “Gone Fishing” while his sister and brother in law hold a check for $116,557,083.

Mr. Nabors had plenty to smile about after purchasing one of the two winning tickets for the largest lottery prize in the history of the United States. On March 7, 2007, the life of the Georgia truck driver changed forever after he won half of the Mega Millions jackpot worth $390 million (€297 million). The other person who bought the winning jackpot ticket opted to remain anonymous.

The lucky winner doesn’t even normally buy lottery tickets, but decided to do so after walking into a convenience store for a cup of coffee. He beat the extraordinary odds, walking out with a prize worth $116,557,083 million. Even after taxes he pocketed $80 million.

What did he plan to do with all that money? "I'm going to do a lot of fishing," Nabors said when asked about his lottery winnings. He also bought a new fishing boat and paid off the mortgages for all of his children.

Another Georgia resident took home the jackpot only a few years prior. Erika Greene worked at a cell phone office before purchasing one of the three $325 million Big Game Lottery jackpot tickets. On April 17, 2002, Greene walked into a local Texaco station where she purchased her first ever lottery ticket for $10. At the ripe old age of 20, this Georgia peach became a multi-millionaire and her share amounts to $58.9 million. At the time of his big lottery win, Greene wasn’t even old enough to celebrate over a glass of champagne.

erika greene biggest lottery wins

At age 20, Erika Greene won $58.9 million after purchasing a lottery ticket for the first time in her life.

After the big win, she told the press, "I'm still kind of in shock. I still can't believe it. I know there's got to be something wrong."

What did she plan to do with the money?"I'm going to invest it and spend it wisely," said Greene, "I'm not going to work, no. I'm going to invest and let the money work for me."

Colin-and-Chris-Weir

In July 2011, Colin and Christine Weir became Europe’s biggest lottery winners after pocketing a massive £161,653,000 (over $260 million) on the EuroMillions lottery jackpot.

Married for 30 years, a life-changing £161 million prize propelled Colin and Christine Weir into the Sunday Times Rich List above Ringo Starr of the Beatles and Sir Tom Jones.

Mrs. Weir described the night of the big win:

“We had enjoyed a normal night in front of the TV watching CSI and so on. At around midnight I decided it was time to turn in, but I did just quickly check the EuroMillions results on Teletext in our bedroom. We had bought five Lucky Dips as the jackpot was now so big. I started circling the numbers I had matched but wasn’t doing very well. Then, on the fifth line, all the circles seemed to join up. I had all of them but couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I checked them three or four times before going back downstairs to find Colin.”

Christine Weir, 55, worked as a psychiatric nurse while her husband, Colin Weir, 64, worked as a TV cameraman and studio manager for 23 years. Now that they have more money than the Beckhams, the couple bought a mansion and a fleet of cars for friends. They also started up their own charity group, Weir Charitable Trust, to support Scottish-based community groups and small charities.

The couple from Ayrshire also made headlines in 2014 for becoming the largest political contributors in the United Kingdom that year after donating £3 million to the Yes Scotland campaign for Scottish independence.

Read about another lottery winner in the UK, the Camden street cleaner who won £4,570,887 jackpot and showed up to work the next day, in disbelief.

Another EuroMillions winner from Spain took home almost as much as the Weirs. Francisco Delgado Rodriguez worked in his family’s bakery in Pilas, Spain before his lucky break. Delgado correctly matched all five numbers and both Lucky Stars numbers, winning £105,892,179 (approximately $170,300,000 USD). The chance of which comes to 1 in 116 million.

Francis Delgado Rodríguez Euromillions winner

Francis Delgado Rodríguez dropped everything and left after winning approximately $170,300,000 USD (£105,892,179) on the EuroMillions jackpot.

So what happened to Señor Delgado? His story remains a mystery. Shortly after winning the jackpot Delgado and his family shocked locals of their hometown. The family suddenly closed down their bakery that had been in the family for generations and left town. It seemed the win made it difficult to return to a normal life.

While little is known about Delgado, rumor has it that his family currently resides in Miami, Florida. Another story points to Seville, where locals spotted Delgado cruising around in a sparkling blue Porsche and lives in a mansion worth 1.2 million Euros.

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Calvin and Zatera Spencer won the lottery 3 times in a row - in one month!

While most of us dream of winning the lottery just once in our lives, Calvin and Zatera Spencer managed to do so three consecutive times - in one month! Back in March 2014, the couple from Portsmouth, Virginia had a winning streak, earning $2.5 million on three consecutive lottery tickets.

It all started when, on March 12, Mr. and Mrs. Spencer beat the odds of 1 in 5,153,633 when they won $1 million playing the Powerball.

Then on March 26, the Spencers matched all four numbers in the Pick 4 game with the winning combination of 6-6-6-6 worth $5,000 each. In this case, they purchased ten tickets, winning a grand total of $50,000!

That following day, the Spencers won again, this time taking home $1 million in the $100 Million Cash Extravaganza.

Read more about the Virginia couple that won the lottery three times in one month.

Even with the odds of becoming big lottery winners extremely slim, the incredible stories of lottery winners entices people to continue buying tickets year after year. After all, you never know who will become the next lucky winner to take home the big prize.

What would you do if you won the lottery? Tell us in our comments section below.

About The Author

I made my entrance to online gambling in 2004 in an attempt to understand the psyche of the casino goer. I've spent prolonged periods delving into the industry and its inner functions and continue to do so at VegasMaster every day. My research and experience has given me insights into gambling that I hope you'll benefit from.

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