Maria Carreira was struck with delight when she found out she had got lucky and won a massive prize of $40,000 Canadian dollars (worth about £26,000). The woman rushed home to share the news with her family before finding out that she hadn’t read the ticket correctly. Excitement levels skyrocketed when she realised the true value of her ticket – $40 million.
Where some winners like this would instantly go all out and celebrate in style, Carreira chose a more modest approach by treating her family to an all-you-can-eat buffet at a Mandarin restaurant. She did, however, start to splash out once the initial excitement had settled.
This is not an isolated event in the lottery and scratch card world. In December 2013, a man from New Hampshire in accidentally won £1.3 million after the cashier gave him a wrong ticket. Scott Bennett, 48, went in with the intention of buying one ticket for the Tri-State Megabucks lottery and one for the Lucky for Life Lottery. The shop assistant accidentally handed him 2 Megabucks tickets, one of which turned out to be the winner.
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Scratch Card Woes
But luck is not always on your side. In 2009, Ontario’s gaming authority printed 1,100 winning scratch cards by mistake, none of which were meant to win. One player couldn’t believe his luck when he purchased 4 scratch cards to find out that all of them had won. When he totalled up his winnings, he thought he had bagged £135,000. But because of the mistake, he didn’t see a cent.
Then there was the bizarre story of the homeless man from Bloomington, Illinois, who struck it lucky on a scratch card. Dennis Mahurin has been living in rough conditions for 30 years, being housed in a tent in the woods. But despite his $50,000 win, the 58-year-old is planning to continue living where he has been. He insists he is “as happy as can be” and that this style of living is in his nature.
He is planning on splashing out somewhat though, on a new tent. He also plans to get some long-overdue dental work and visit his son. The rest of the money will be put into saving in an investment for his later life. The man joked that he had put some cash aside for his “new friends” the money would bring.