Always Check Your Lotto Tickets!

Spring cleaning just paid off in a big way for a Canada couple.

Glenn and Jenny Dennis found a 10-month-old Lotto Max ticket in a desk drawer while organizing some income tax papers earlier this month. They checked the ticket and discovered they'd won $500,000.

"I'm horrible for checking tickets," Glenn said in an interview. "I still have a bunch of them to check."

The couple bought the ticket for the $50-million July 6, 2012, draw during a camping trip near Leoville last summer, then lost track of it.

Winners have one year from the lottery draw date to claim their prizes, according to Western Canada Lottery Corporation.

Glenn, who farms just north of Meadow Lake, and Jenni, an insurance broker, plan on paying off some personal debt and taking their three children on a vacation when this year's harvest is finished.

Glenn said he doesn't buy lottery tickets until the jackpot reaches the $30-million-to-$40-million range. He might have missed out on other paydays.

"I found four or five tickets from 2011 in my truck that I had to throw away," he said.
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Both multi-state lotto games are over the $100 Million mark. Tonight’s Mega Millions is smaller with Powerball right ahead of it.
POWERBALL
04/27/2013
$140,000,000 est
Cash Option:$91,300,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/26/2013
$103,000,000 est
Cash Option:$77,900,000

Store Clerks Steal winning Lotto Ticket

Never, never hand your lottery tickets over for a store clerk to check. Case in point comes from New York.

According to the Southampton Press, Three Riverhead, NY men were arrested this week after police said they attempted to scam a local man out of more than $74,000 in lottery winnings.

The incident happened on March 18, when an unidentified man brought a Take 5 Quick Pick lotto ticket to the Valero Gas and Convenience Store. Upon scanning the ticket, the clerks at the gas station realized the man had won $74,892—but instead of telling him, they kept the ticket and paid him $774, telling him that was the prize. The clerk then gave the ticket to his brother, who cashed it in with the New York State Lotto Commission and they split the cash, according to Southampton Town Police.

Shortly after, the original ticket holder discovered that only the lotto commission could make payments of more than $600, and also heard reports that the store had sold a winning ticket for the larger amount. He confronted the cashiers, to no avail.

After an investigation by Southampton Town Police detectives and the State Lotto Commission, police arrested Yalcin Nergiz, 41, Yunis Ozturk, 33, and Orhan Ozurk, 47, on Friday and charged each with one count of second-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree conspiracy, both felonies.
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No Powerball jackpot winner last Saturday so the multi-state lotto games continue to grow.
POWERBALL
04/24/2013
$116,000,000 est
Cash Option:$75,600,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/23/2013
$92,000,000 est
Cash Option:$69,500,000

Lottery worker allegedly steals tickets

An Anne Arundel County Maryland man has been indicted on accusations that he stole lottery tickets valued at nearly $100,000 from several retailers over the span of four years while he was working for the Maryland Lottery.

Attorney General Doug Gansler said Mark Barron Hantske, 59, of Lothian, was charged with several counts of theft.

Prosecutors said Hantske stole the tickets from nine retailers between June 2008 and February 2012 while he was employed as a lottery sale representative. Officials said he collected more than $67,000 in lottery winnings with the stolen tickets.

If convicted, Hantske could get a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison and face a $15,000 fine.
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There was no Mega Millions jackpot winner last night so it continues the neck-in-neck jackpot race with Powerball.
POWERBALL
04/20/2013
$95,000,000 est
Cash Option:$61,300,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/23/2013
$92,000,000 est
Cash Option:$69,500,000

Won The Lottery? No Welfare For You!

A Michigan state agency has removed more than 500 lottery winners from certain welfare programs because of a new Michigan law that cross-references winners with recipients of some types of aid.
But the Department of Human Services says many more welfare cases could be ended if what it calls “loopholes” were closed, or if laws were altered or expanded.
The Department of Human Services on Monday issued a report that covers findings from April through December 2012.
It relates to a law signed last April that requires the state to match a list of those who win $1,000 or more in the lottery with current DHS assistance recipients.
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In the multi-state lotto games, there was no jackpot winner last night in Powerball. Friday’s Mega Millions game has a slightly smaller jackpot but still leads on the cash option.
POWERBALL
04/20/2013
$95,000,000 est
Cash Option:$61,300,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/19/2013
$83,000,000 est
Cash Option:$62,500,000

What to do with those losing scratch tickets

Throw away? Recycle? What are you doing with losing scratch lottery tickets?

Here’s a story of a couple who re-purpose scratch tickets into art. A very interesting story.


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No jackpot winner over the weekend in Powerball so the jackpot rolls. Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot is slightly behind Powerball except when you look at the cash option value.

POWERBALL
04/17/2013
$80,000,000 est
Cash Option:$51,600,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/16/2013
$74,000,000 est
Cash Option:$55,500,000

Another Lottery Goes Private

One more large lottery had moved from the hands of government to the private sector.

New Jersey will award a 15-year contract potentially worth billions of dollars to the only group that bid to operate the state lottery, officials announced Friday afternoon.

Northstar New Jersey -- a joint venture made up of lottery operators GTECH and Scientific Games along with the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System – won the contract.

The group agreed to pay New Jersey $120 million upfront and promised to increase lottery profits by a total of at least $1.42 billion over the life of the contract, the Treasury Department said in a news release.
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No jackpot winner over the weekend in Powerball so the jackpot rolls. Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot is slightly behind Powerball except when you look at the cash option value.

POWERBALL
04/17/2013
$80,000,000 est
Cash Option:$51,600,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/16/2013
$74,000,000 est
Cash Option:$55,500,000

Lottery Winners Anonymous Part III

Lottery winners might be able to maintain their privacy in New Jersey, but it looks like they won’t in Arizona.

The Arizona Senate has voted down a bill allowing lottery winners to keep their anonymity, although it could be revived later.

Thursday's 16-11 vote comes after the House voted 51-8 in favor of the bill in February.

The Arizona bill was written after a Phoenix-area man won half of a $587.5 million Powerball jackpot in November. His name was released under state public records laws.

Republican Rep. John Kavanagh is the sponsor and says he believes making the man's name public put him and his family at risk.

The New Jersey Senate passed a bill last month allowing winners to shield their names for a year last month, sending that bill to Gov. Chris Christie.

The Arizona Senate can vote to reconsider its action and take up the bill again.
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In the multi-state lotto games tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot is just a hair behind the Powerball jackpot for Saturday.

MEGA MILLIONS
04/12/2013
$66,000,000 est
Cash Option:$49,700,000

POWERBALL
04/13/2013
$70,000,000 est
Cash Option:$45,400,000

Lottery Winner back in Court - The Lawyers will be the only winners.

According to indystar.com, an Indianapolis hairdresser, blocked last month from collecting a $9 million Hoosier Lottery jackpot in a dispute with seven former co-workers, says claims she has proof the winning ticket was not among those she purchased with money pooled by the group.

Christina “Christy” Shaw also contends in a recent court filing that no one at Lou’s Creative Styles in Lawrence ever informed her the person buying tickets for the group could not purchase personal tickets at the same time or location.

That unwritten “rule” was a key argument made by seven former co-workers who asked Marion Superior Court Judge Heather Welch to block the lottery from paying the jackpot to Shaw.

In court documents filed by her attorney, Shaw claims she often bought personal tickets at the same time she purchased tickets for the pool.

The winning ticket in the Feb. 16 drawing was purchased at 2:28 p.m. at a Speedway at 8102 E. 21st. St. It was included, according to court documents, on a Hoosier Lottery ticket with four sets of numbers, including “personal” numbers Shaw regularly selected based on the birthday and ages of her children and grandchildren.

Two of the sets of numbers on that ticket were quick picks and one of those produced the winning numbers: 5, 8, 17, 21, 23 and 33.

Shaw’s filing includes copies of other tickets, one purchased at 2:26 p.m. at the same Speedway, that included 27 sets of quick-pick numbers. She claims those were purchased with $20 from the pool’s money and $7 in winnings from a previous drawing.

Sounds to me like she has a solid case for the fact the winning ticket was hers. Lottery records don’t lie, and if the winning ticket was a mix of quick picks and selected numbers, she should walk away with all the money. Unwritten rules have little weight. Of course the lawyer will keep a huge chunk of change.
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The multi-state lotto games continue to grow. Tonight’s Powerball, while small, would provide a jackpot winner $2 million a year for the next 30 years!

POWERBALL
04/10/2013
$60,000,000 est
Cash Option:$38,900,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/12/2013
$66,000,000 est
Cash Option:$49,700,000

Powerball Welcomes California Today

There’s a new way for Californians to spend their hard-earned money: the Golden State will welcome sales Monday for the Powerball, the nationwide lotto sensation that boasts some of the largest U.S. jackpots ever.

California is the 43rd state to join the Powerball lottery, with the jackpot is expected to hit $60 million for Wednesday night. Tickets will cost $2 each.

The drawing will take place in Sacramento for California’s first Powerball, although it usually occurs in Florida.

The hype has reached a fever pitch since the California Lottery Commission voted unanimously to join the multi-state game in November, though not everyone is singing its praises. Taking the positive side, the state Lottery launched billboard, radio and TV ads last week around the theme of "believe in something bigger." In one ad, exuberant Californians do cannonballs into Powerball-filled swimming pools and make Powerball snow angels on their front lawns.

“Every time the Powerball jackpot gets large, people say, ‘Hey, how come Californians can’t play?’” said Alex Traverso, a CA Lottery spokesperson. “We’re happy to finally be able to tell customers we’re in.”

Lottery officials say the Powerball game will continue the upward trajectory of state lottery sales. Sales remained steady at $3 billion in 2011 but jumped to $4.4 billion in sales in 2012, Traverso said. "We've grown $1.5 billion in sales in the last year and a half," he added.

Multi-State Lottery Jackpots Rise

Happy Sunday!

No recent jackpot winners in the multi-state lottery games, so the jackpots continue to grow.

POWERBALL
04/10/2013
$60,000,000 est
Cash Option:$38,900,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/09/2013
$56,000,000 est
Cash Option:$42,300,000

Homeless Man Wins Lottery

A homeless man wins the lotto is topping news headlines this week, as the Huffington Post reported this Thursday, April 4, that a homeless man from Bloomington is going to do a very charitable deed with his winnings: give $100 to each homeless person in the local area.

With the headline reading, “Homeless man wins lotto in Bloomington”, the source reports that Dennis Mahurin recently won a $50,000 jackpot. It would be more than enough for him to certainly move out of the tent he’s called home for the past 20 years, but the Illinois winner plans on using that money on something else.

The homeless man wins lotto search term began to trend across major search engines after Mahurin was shocked to scratch off the big winning ticket. Yet he’s decided to promise to use that money to help assist others who were in a similar position.
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Powerball and Mega Millions have identical jackpots - - - $50 Million. Note the cash value of the jackpots differ because Mega Millions annuity jackpot is based on 26 payments while Powerball’s annuity jackpot has 30 equal payments.

POWERBALL
04/06/2013
$50,000,000 est
Cash Option:$31,400,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/05/2013
$50,000,000 est
Cash Option:$36,900,000

Texas Lottery Star Trek Game Launched

William Shatner took on a new "enterprise" in Dallas on Saturday.

According to WFAA, the original Captain Kirk (who just celebrated his 82nd birthday) is the celebrity face of the newest Texas Lottery game: The Star Trek Scratch-Off. Shatner appeared at the Dallas Convention Center to unveil the new $3-per-play cards.

The Canadian actor commended the state's system of sending lottery proceeds to public education.
"Those few dollars added to a few others go to a great purpose," Shatner said. "So you might win a lot of money... but if you don't, you've put a little money into a bank account, which is the children of Texas."

Since Shatner was here, organizers of the promotion decided to try to set a new Guinness record for the number of people dressed as Star Trek characters at one event. The Dallas attempt fell far short of the existing record — 1,063 — which was set last year in London.
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No one hit the Powerball jackpot last night so both Powerball and Mega Millions have identical jackpots - - - $50 Million. Note the cash value of the jackpots differ because Mega Millions annuity jackpot is based on 26 payments while Powerball’s annuity jackpot has 30 equal payments.
POWERBALL
04/06/2013
$50,000,000 est
Cash Option:$31,400,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/05/2013
$50,000,000 est
Cash Option:$36,900,000

Powerball Lottery Winner Pays Overdue Child Support

The winner of the $338 million Powerball lottery on Monday paid $29,000 in overdue child-support payments, a debt that dated back four years, New Jersey authorities said.

Pedro Quezada, 44, informed state Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposela that he had paid off the debt, which was the subject of a 2009 warrant, officials said.

“It’s no longer a live warrant. It was resolved with the court today,” said William Maer, a spokesman for the Passaic County, New Jersey, Sheriff’s office.

It was not immediately clear how many of Quezada’s five children were covered by the outstanding child support payments.

Quezada, a married immigrant from the Dominican Republic, owns a convenience store called the Apple Deli Grocery in Passaic. He put the property up for sale after winning the big prize.

He claimed his winnings last week, electing to take a lump sum payment of $221 million, which comes to $152 million after taxes. His award is the fourth-largest payout in Powerball history.
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For once in a long time, the Mega Millions Jackpot is larger than the Powerball jackpot. Here’s the latest amounts.

POWERBALL
04/03/2013
$40,000,000 est
Cash Option:$25,100,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/05/2013
$50,000,000 est
Cash Option:$36,900,000