4 of the year's most shocking lottery stories

Dec 19 2022, 9:00 am

To say that it’s been a crazy year for lottery stories would be an understatement.

American lottery players saw the biggest lottery win in Powerball history, with the jackpot growing to a mammoth $2 billion after three months without a winner. Over in China, one lottery winner made headlines worldwide after claiming his prize while wearing a rather unusual outfit.

Here are some out-of-the-ordinary lottery stories that had people talking in 2022.

FOURTH lottery win leaves Canadian man stunned

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No one was more stunned by his fourth lottery than Jeffrey Gurczenski himself. The retiree from Mississauga had won twice after playing Wheel of Fortune and winning $10,000 each time. Then, in August of 2022, Gurczenski beat the odds yet again by winning the Poker Lotto jackpot worth $92,131.50.

If you think that’s lucky, Gurczenski won for the fourth time — this time an even bigger lottery prize worth $150,000 on The Bigger Spin Instant game.

“When it landed on $150,000 my heart was racing!” he said. “I was so happy.”

That brings his total lottery winnings to $267,131.50, which Gurczenski said he plans to use to buy a condo.

Woman claims $100k lottery prize, wins another $300k on the way home

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Imagine winning the lottery and claiming your prize only to win for the second time soon after. That’s exactly what happened to a 70-year-old woman from Delaware.

The woman, who chose to stay anonymous, won $100,000 in the lottery after playing for seven years. On the way home from the lottery headquarters, she and her friends stopped at a gas station where she bought three Serious Money tickets.

“When I scratched the US$300,000-winning Serious Money ticket later in the day, we just sat there in disbelief,” she recalled. “It was absolute insanity.”

So what did she do next?

She and her friend simply got back in the car and made their way back to the lottery headquarters.

Lottery winner hides prize from family by wearing a cartoon costume

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Some lottery players take the extra step to protect their identities after a big win. However, a man in China took it several steps further in order to hide his win from his own family.

In October, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that a man who chose to go by the fake name Li won a massive 220 million Chinese yuan (CND$41,257,632.31). Worried that his windfall would make his family lazy and entitled, he chose to stay anonymous by collecting his prize while wearing a bright yellow cartoon costume.

I have not told my wife or kid,” he explained. “I am concerned that they might feel superior to other people and will not work or study hard in future.”

Li chose to donate 5 million yuan (CND$938,242) to charity but as for what he plans to do with his winnings, he said he still needs to take time to come up with a plan.

Someone finally won Powerball’s record-breaking $2 billion jackpot

Someone finally won Powerball's record-breaking $2 billion jackpot

Deutschlandreform/Shutterstock

Perhaps the most shocking story was this year’s record-breaking Powerball jackpot.

After a three-month stretch without a winner the jackpot had grown to a massive US$2.04 billion (CND$2,744,362,872). For three months, lottery players had their eyes on the prize until a lucky winner in California finally won in the November 7 draw.

According to Powerball, even after taxes, the winner will be taking home close to a billion dollars. Their total prize is a cash value worth US$997.6 million (CND$1,341,240,090).

Prior to that, the biggest jackpot ever won was US$1.586 billion (CND$2,133,653,479) on January 13, 2016. The prize was shared by three winners in California, Florida, and Tennessee.

Irish Mae SilvestreIrish Mae Silvestre

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