The Weirdest Lottery Stories Ever

By keith
Last Updated: April 12, 2024
Lottery winners are undoubtedly lucky… but only if they manage to cash in their tickets. To keep them safe, players have concocted seriously bizarre places to stash their tickets, which has sometimes led to unexpected losses. From crumpled tickets tucked away in bras to forgotten treasures in washing machines and rubbish bins, tickets get lost – which is just one reason why so many people go to the vast number of lottery sites operating in the UK. After all, you can't lose your ticket online, right? The world of lottery winnings is filled with strange and funny stories – and here we'll look at some of the weirdest lottery stories ever.

The Fortune Cookie Jackpot

In 2003, a very weird phenomenon occurred in the world of lotteries when 110 tickets matched the numbers drawn for the Powerball prize, an unusually high number. Investigation revealed an unexpected twist – a very lucky fortune cookie had been doing the rounds in Chinese restaurants across the country, leading to more people playing those specific lucky numbers. This quirky coincidence led to 89 winners claiming $100,000 each and 21 winners pocketing $500,000 by selecting the Power Play option. 

Bra-Safe Winnings

Then there's the tale of an 18-year-old waitress, Ianthe Fullagar, who went from earning £4.75 an hour to pocketing over £7 million after winning the EuroMillions lottery in 2008. Overwhelmed by her win, she resorted to a very unconventional safety measure for her winning ticket – she tucked it into her bra. It probably comes as no surprise to women. A poll later revealed that 30% of female lottery players keep their tickets close to their hearts – in more ways than one!

Hitting The Homework Jackpot

Nicole Pedneault and Roger Larocque stumbled upon a life-changing discovery while they were helping their grandson with a school project in Canada. Hidden within the pages of a forgotten book about Japan was a CAD1 million winning Loto Quebec ticket from the previous year. What makes it even luckier is that they found it just days before the ticket's expiry.

Lightning Strikes Again – and Again…

From Florida to Norway, some lottery players don't just defy the odds once, but several times. James Bozeman Jr. clinched the Florida Lotto jackpot twice from tickets he purchased at the same shop, while a Virginia couple won three times in a month. Then we have the Oksnes family in Norway, who achieved a similar feat, winning the lottery three times in six years.

A Generous Gesture

New York City detective Robert Cunningham made a last-minute decision to split a lottery ticket with waitress Phyllis Penzo – which resulted in a massive $6 million windfall. Their unexpected win, which was immortalised in the film “It Could Happen to You,” shows us the power of chance encounters.

An Unexpected Discovery

From finding lottery tickets in washing machines to forgotten treasures on the dashboard of a van, lottery wins sometimes stem from making an unexpected discovery. A New Zealand man stumbled upon a screwed-up Powerball ticket while he was doing laundry, while a guy from the UK found a €76 million jackpot prize hidden amongst a pile of old tickets. Similarly, Joseph Cobbs III's discarded lottery ticket was found in the rubbish, which led to a life-changing win, showing that sometimes, you just need to look a little bit harder. You never know if it's more than just loose change falling down the back of the sofa!

From Bad Luck to Good

Australian truck driver Bill Morgan defied all the odds by surviving a potentially fatal heart attack and then going on to win two scratch cards, winning the lottery in more ways than one, you might say. 

A Safer Bet

These days, things are a little easier – and playing the lottery is safer and more convenient than ever. With all sorts of online lottery sites available all over the world, players can now access the biggest lotteries in the world from the comfort of their homes.  Tickets are stored online, so the risk of theft or loss is much lower, and lucky players can walk away with their life-changing payouts.