Winning the lottery more than once is against all odds to be sure—but several people have done it, and it’s even happened twice in the same day.
Some twice-lucky winners have spent their spoils on family, bills, or a retirement home. The circumstances surrounding their wins range from commonplace—using an anniversary date and family ages—to eerie—winning numbers imparted in a dream.
1. Died, Came Back to Life, Won the Lottery Twice
Australian truck driver Bill Morgan was declared dead after a truck accident and heart attack. He was revived after 14 minutes. He could consider himself quite lucky to be alive. In 1999, more than a year after his accident, he won a car worth $17,000 through a scratch-and-win lottery ticket.
As he was on television re-enacting his win, he scratched a ticket and won a jackpot worth $170,000 ($250,000 Australian dollars). His wife told CNN: “I just hope he hasn’t used all his good luck up.”
Image of scratch lottery ticket via Shutterstock
2. Same Store, Same Customer, Two $1 Million Tickets
In April 2012, Virginia Fike of Berryville, Va., bought two $1 million winners at the same store, the Olde Stone Truck Stop in Clear Brook, Va.
She was sitting in a hospital room with her ill mother when she saw a television broadcast saying two winning tickets were purchased at the truck stop.
“Wouldn’t it be funny if it was us?” She asked her mother. Fike recounted the story to the Virginia Lottery.
“I picked numbers based on my parents’ anniversary and their ages at that time, divided by the year they were married,” Fike said, according to a Virginia Lottery press release from that time.
She said she would use the money to take care of her parents and pay bills. The store got a $20,000 bonus for selling the two winning tickets.
3. Electrician Wins Twice With Same Numbers
Mike McDermott, an electrician in Portsmouth, England, won the lottery twice with the same numbers in the span of a year.
When he won about 200,000 pounds (approximately US$300,000) in June 2007, the odds were 2.3 million to one, according to British publication The Daily Mail. When he won about 120,000 pounds in March 2008, the odds jumped to 5.4 trillion to one.
“I can’t believe such incredible luck,” McDermott, 50-years-old at the time, told the Daily Mail. McDermott retired, and he and his wife, Helen, bought a house on the island of Kerkenah, off the coast of Tunisia.
4. 86-Year-Old Wins Two $8 million Prizes With Numbers From a Dream
Image of woman sleeping via Shutterstock
Mary Wollens of Toronto, Canada, bought two tickets from two different stores, playing numbers that had come to her in a dream. She won $8 million on both tickets—a combined $16 million—in September 2006.
“I was lying in bed and I had a dream about numbers so I wrote them down when I woke up,” she told the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, according to a Toronto Sun article from that time.
She began playing the lottery regularly in 1982, spending $5 to $10 per draw.
“I won $100 on the very first ticket I ever bought,” she told the Sun. “I thought that it was such a good omen.”
5. Retired Couple Wins Just as Their Previous Win Was to Expire
A couple’s second lottery win in Arizona in September 2013 was against the odds to be sure.
Diane and Kerry Carmichael of Tempe, Ariz., won the $1 million Powerball draw. The $125,000 annuity on their $2.5 million win from 1995 was set to expire this year.
The retired couple, unsure as of yet how they would spend their money, simply told Arizona Lottery that they would “resist the urge to splurge.”
*Image of lottery numbers via Shutterstock