Imagine finally getting all of those lottery numbers correct. Imagine screaming and jumping because you’ve just found out that you’re a millionaire. Not so fast! The prize you’re going to win also depends on whether other people have just accomplished the same feat as you.
While it’s not a common occurrence, there have been multiple stories of numerous people hitting the lucky lottery numbers to win the jackpot. In such instances, the size of the top prize is brought down dramatically because jackpots are commonly split among all the winners.
More Than 2,000 Jackpot Winners
One of the most dramatic stories is from North Carolina.
In June 2019, more than 2,000 people choose the lottery numbers winning the Saturday drawing of the local Pick-4 game. What did they do exactly? They opted for a very simple number combo – 0-0-0-0. Yes, the winning number was comprised of four zeroes.
The advertised jackpot for the drawing was 7.8 million dollars. On its own, it’s a pretty impressive number. Imagine that sum, however, being among you and approximately 2,000 other people. That equation changes the scope of the win.
By Monday, dozens of the lucky winners had shown up at the North Carolina lottery headquarters. Lottery officials did warn the winners that there may be queues, and the processing time for paying out all of the prizes would be longer than usual.
A similar situation occurred in 2012 when the Pick-4 winning number was 1-1-1-1. In 2019, Pick-3 had a similar situation when the winning number was 1-1-1. North Carolina lottery estimated there were over 5,600 winners of the top prize. While such winning numbers may seem ultimately against the odds, they’re drawn every once and again.
The Fortune Cookie Incident
How would you approach the task of choosing lottery numbers for the win?
Some people pick dates that hold some relevance – birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Others believe in the power of certain numbers and consider those good luck figures. Some opt for a completely random approach.
In 2005, a very interesting situation occurred when 110 people managed to win the same lottery. How did they do it? They opted for numbers that were suggested by a fortune cookie.
Initially, there were some fraud concerns as it appears nearly impossible for 110 people to choose the same winning numbers and beat all odds. Lottery officials launched a huge investigation to find out what was going on. Eventually, they uncovered the truth.
A company called Wonton Food Inc. had produced the fortune cookie suggesting the winning lottery numbers. The company produced four million fortune cookies, and many of them came with the numerical combination — some people who received the fortune cookie before the drawing decided to give the suggested numbers a try.
As a result of the investigation, the 110 winners were paid out the sum that they’d won. It varied from 100,000 to 500,000 dollars, depending on whether players had activated a bonus capable of multiplying their prize.
It’s Christmas in South Carolina
This story about winning lottery numbers in South Carolina is a bit different from the previous curious instances.
On Christmas Day in 2017, people bought the holiday Cash Add-a-Play ticket for just a dollar. To win, they had to get a specific number of Christmas trees in a row – from three to nine. Having all nine Christmas trees led to winning the top prize of 500 dollars. While the condition for winning the top prize isn’t the most difficult one to fulfill, the odds of this happening remained at the relatively unfavorable one in 4,800.
Imagine everyone’s surprise; however, when people found out that practically everyone was winning.
The situation got so out of hand that the small Christmas lottery eventually added up the numbers, and the overall sum won by everyone in the state turned out to be 30 million dollars.
Later on, lottery officials came out with an official announcement about the situation.
A computer glitch was behind the anomaly, and it caused 71,000 people to come in possession of a winning ticket. The coding error led machines to print out tickets featuring nine Christmas trees repeatedly. The software operator was blamed for its failure to do quality assurance, and the South Carolina lottery reported that it would not be paying out prizes to the more than 70,000 jackpot winners.
People were still hoping that in line with the Christmas spirit, the lottery will pay out the prizes regardless of the glitch. Unfortunately, South Carolina lottery officials weren’t feeling that generous.
The situation escalated so much that people have even initiated lawsuits against the lottery. We’ll have to wait and see what court officials will think about this entire mess.
40 People Claim First Division Powerball Prize
Powerball is one of those lotteries characterized by nearly impossible odds. Regardless of that fact, there have been several instances of multiple people getting lucky and choosing the right lottery numbers for winning.
In 2018, 40 lottery numbers winners split the first division Powerball prize. The first division prize is the one coming immediately after the jackpot.
The drawing also had two lucky people who split the Powerball jackpot, each claiming 2.5 million dollars. Each of the first division prize winners went home 25,000-dollars richer.
The winning numbers that the first division winners guessed where 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13. Once again – it may seem completely impossible for such numbers to be selected, but once in a while, reality happens to beat statistics.
This was the most significant number of people to claim the first division Powerball prize since the launch of the game in 1987. Thus, it’s not only pick 3 and pick 4 games that can produce such wonderfully delicious anomalies. Standard draw-style games also have instances of winning numbers being completely unbelievable.
All of these stories show that sometimes, reality can be much stranger than fiction. If you think you’re never going to win, think again. While the odds aren’t always in your favor, being consistent can eventually pay off.