There is an old saying that says the odds of getting struck by lightning are better than the odds of winning the lottery. Depending on the game you play, your odds of getting a major prize can be as low as 1 to 2.1 Million (we use the term "low" very loosely) for a small state lotto, or as high as 1 to 175 Million for a game like Powerball.
Despite beating such ridiculous odds, some people have gone on to do the seemingly impossible and win the lottery a number of times. Sometimes it's just dumb luck, other times the winners invest a sizeable portion of their past winnings into more lottery tickets, exponentially increasing their odds of an additional win. Other times, it's just determination and repetition, like playing the same numbers in the same game, every week. Regardless of the method, these folks have seemingly captured lightning in a bottle.
12 Joan Ginther
In 2010, Joan Ginther scratched away at her $50 "$140 Million Extreme Payout" lottery ticket to reveal a whopping $10 Million prize. This is the moment that most lotto players live for, but for Joan Ginther, it was just business as usual. Her new $10 Million was her fourth big lottery win. This big win was preceded with three other wins - a $5.3 Million Texas Lotto win in 1993, a $2 Million win in 2006, and a $3 Million win in 2008.
Many believe that Joan is what some might consider a "professional" lottery player. It has been suggested that Ginther plays the odds, and purchased around 100,000 high priced lottery tickets.
11 Richard Lustig
For Richard Lustig, winning the lottery is just as normal an occurrence as getting out of bed in the morning. Well, not exactly, but he has racked up an impressive seven wins. Though none of Lustig's wins are multi-million dollar wins, he has racked up total winnings that have clipped the $1 Million dollar mark.
Lustig says he uses a tried and true method that he calls "the winning lottery method" (hey, no one said he was creative). Lustig takes a chunk of his winnings and puts them right back into lottery tickets. He also saves his losing tickets as one can write them off on their taxes.
Lustig has even published a book that carefully lays out his winning method.
10 Calvin and Zatera Spencer
Just a handful of months ago, Calvin and Zatera Spencer hit it big with a $1 Million Power Ball winner, but this was only the beginning of a three-fold win streak within a three week time period. They followed up the first big win with a $50,000 prize total across 10 winning Fantasy 4 tickets just two weeks later.
On the very next day, Calvin dropped his wife off for an appointment. While waiting for the appointment to get out, Calvin bought a scratch-off ticket and won an additional $1 Million prize.
9 Robert Hamilton
Robert Hamilton of Indiana beat the odds and hit one of eight top prizes in the Hoosier Lottery in just three months.
His first win was a $1 Million prize in April of this year. Hamilton used the winnings to buy a home, pay off all his debts, and the rest was invested into his business. Three months later Hamilton won an additional $1 Million prize. With no other necessities to spend this money on, Hamilton said he only planned to purchase a motorcycle. Unless Hamilton plans to buy a motorcycle made out of platinum, it looks like he's being very smart with his new found fortune.
8 Kenneth Stokes
Apparently Kenneth Stokes of Norwood, Massachusetts doesn't like to waste any time. While every person on this list won the lottery a number of times, they did so across different games over a span of time. Kenneth not only won the lottery twice in one day, but he won the same exact Lucky for Life game. What exactly are his winnings? Stokes will receive two payouts of $25,000 a year for the rest of his life. Stokes won't exactly be living like a king on $50,000 a year, but he certainly won't ever have to work again if he doesn't feel like it. Heck, a lot of people are living on much less than that.
7 Ernest Pullen
In June of 2010, a Bonne Terre, Missouri man named Ernest Pullen won $1 Million after purchasing a scratch-off ticket. Ernest was a retired military man but continued to work at a help desk for a telecommunications company. After winning the big prize, he decided to retire for good. Then, on the following September, Pullen purchased another scratch-off ticket and ended up with a $2 Million dollar prize. According to Missouri Lottery officials, Pullen was the first person ever to win million dollar prizes on two occasions in the history of the Missouri Lottery.
According to Pullen, the numbers on his second card were the very same numbers on a winning lottery card he had purchased in a dream.
6 Mary Riedel
The average person usually buys a scratch-off lottery ticket at the gas station/convenience store to have something else to do while they're paying for their fuel. Not many expect to hit it big, but they do think it might be nice if the ticket would pay for their current purchases. Mary Riedel of Brunswick, Ohio won't ever have to worry about paying for gas again. Within one year's time, Mary hit a $50,000 win on a scratch-off ticket. Not long after, Mary purchased another scratch-off ticket (at the same store!) and hit a $100,000 win.
On top of these lottery winnings, Mary had won $8,000 on a game show just two years prior. Talk about luck!
5 Virginia Fike
Virginia Fike of Virginia (weird, right?) recently pulled the lottery impossible. Virginia won the $1 Million prize twice - in the same day!
Virginia had purchased two Power Ball tickets. Each ticket had matched 5 of the 6 numbers drawn that week for Power Ball. When the numbers had been announced Virginia missed the reveal, but did see on the news that there were two $1 Million winners while she was visiting her mom in the hospital. Later, Fike went to the convenience store and handed her tickets to the clerk to check if there were anything on them. Sure enough, she held both of the winning tickets.
4 Racy Pel
Racy Pel had a routine of purchasing about $20 in lottery tickets every so often since a percentage of the sales go into schools. He never expected to win and always played the same numbers - some birthdays, anniversaries, and a few "lucky numbers." Not only did Pel win a $32,000 prize from his tickets purchased on December 18, 2013, but he also won the $50 Million jackpot on the same day.
The best part to this story is Pel didn't even cash his $50 Million right away - he waited until he had the day off of work!
3 James Bozeman Jr.
James Bozeman of Tallahasse, Florida didn't just win a couple of big prizes; he won a multi-million dollar jackpot two years in a row. The first win was a $10 Million prize that he followed up with a $3 Million prize.
Bozeman says after he won the first time he didn't think he'd ever hit again with the lucky numbers he always played, so he picked a second entirely different set. He's now picked a third set in hopes of another jackpot win.
The 7-Eleven Bozeman purchased both tickets at received some nice pay-outs for selling the winning tickets.
2 Stephen and Terri Weaver
The stars must have been aligned for this Arkansas couple. They didn't just win the lottery twice. Stephen and Terri Weaver bought their winning tickets on the same day from the same store. Granted only one ticket was a $1 Million winner, but a second $50,000 win is nothing to scoff at, especially when it's handed to you for doing essentially nothing. Well, if your hand cramps, scratching those tickets can be tough work.
1 Bill Morgan
This lottery win isn't that big, but it's most definitely the most amazing lottery story ever told.
Bill Morgan, a truck driver in Melbourne, Australia, was in a terrible accident and suffered a fatal heart attack. He was pronounced dead for 14 minutes, but was miraculously resuscitated. After spending 12 days in a coma, the family was considering pulling the plug on life support...and then Bill woke up, with all his facilities intact.
A year later, Morgan purchases a $17,000 winning lottery ticket shortly after becoming engaged to his girlfriend. Due to his impressive string of luck, the local news decided to film Morgan purchasing another ticket - it was a $170,000 winner.