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What ought to the Mega Thousands and thousands winner do with $1.337 billion? A pair who gained tens of millions might serve for instance.


The winner of the $1.337 billion Mega Thousands and thousands jackpot might by no means be revealed to the general public, however whoever has the ticket for the second-largest prize within the sport’s historical past is coming right into a life-changing sum of money. Many winners have seen their luck run out, struggling private setbacks, coping with lawsuits or turning into the victims of scams.

Dave and Erica Harrig stayed true to their values once they gained a lottery jackpot of greater than $61 million in 2013. It made all of the distinction.

The couple from Gretna, Nebraska, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Omaha the place Dave Harrig now’s a volunteer firefighter, allowed themselves to purchase a brand new dwelling, some classic cars and some ocean cruises after they each stop their jobs.

However 9 years later, they nonetheless reside a lot as they all the time did, remaining of their neighborhood, maintaining with church, household and buddies, and educating their youngsters to work exhausting to make a residing regardless of any monetary windfall which may come their means.

The most recent winner of a giant jackpot — with a money possibility of $780.5 million — got here Friday, when a single Mega Thousands and thousands ticket bought in Illinois matched the successful numbers 13, 36, 45, 57, 67 and the Mega Ball 14. Illinois is among the many states the place winners of greater than $250,000 can select to not reveal their names.

Dave Harrig, an Air Pressure veteran who labored in plane upkeep, stated maintaining issues easy in all probability saved him and his household from the form of hassles and tragedies which have befallen different huge winners.

Nearly in a single day, the Harrig household mailbox was crammed with letters filled with exhausting luck tales: sick youngsters, misplaced jobs, burned out houses.

Dave Harrig stated they ignored all of them and centered on their very own household and charities.

They did not even contact the principal on their winnings till just some years in the past, once they tapped into it to fund a brand new museum of firefighting in Gretna that can open quickly.

“Now we have nicer issues, an even bigger home, and greater than we ever had previously. However we’re the identical, and my spouse and I hold one another in verify,” Dave Harrig stated, encouraging future lottery winners to take a position properly, select a nationwide funding adviser moderately than a neighborhood one, and to keep away from advisers who attempt to promote monetary merchandise.

They’ve ignored false rumors which have swirled about them, resembling recommendations that Erica Harrig at one level ran off with a physician and that Dave Harrig had a lawyer girlfriend. Their 4 youngsters have additionally endured teasing at college.

“We’re nonetheless studying, however it has helped to remain working collectively as a crew,” he stated of himself and his spouse.

He acknowledged the struggles of some previous winners, saying the expertise of successful a jackpot “can actually intensify your character and any addictions.”

The late Andrew Whittaker Jr., of West Virginia, handled lawsuits and private points after he claimed a report $315 million Powerball jackpot on Christmas night time in 2002.

On the time, it was the most important U.S. lottery jackpot gained by a single ticket. Individuals harassed him with so many requests for cash that he was quoted a number of instances saying he wished he had torn up the ticket.

Earlier than dying of pure causes in 2020 at age 72, he struggled with alcohol and playing issues and had a sequence of non-public tragedies, together with the dying of his granddaughter.

Profitable the lottery introduced different kinds of complications for Manuel Franco, of West Allis, Wisconsin, who claimed a $768 million lottery jackpot in April 2019.

Then simply 24, Franco excitedly held a information convention to debate his win, however later reportedly went into hiding amid harassment from strangers and the information media.

The Higher Enterprise Bureau of Wisconsin started warning individuals in 2021 about messages from scammers who claimed to be the multimillion-dollar winner.

Utilizing Franco’s title, the scammers despatched textual content messages, social media messages, telephone calls and emails phishing for private info, telling recipients that they had been chosen to obtain cash.

The BBB stated scammers obtained greater than $13,000 from individuals they tricked, together with individuals in Alabama and Colorado.

Regardless of the issues encountered by the winners, lottery officers favor publicly figuring out winners to instill public belief within the video games.

That is largely as a result of some previous drawings have been rigged. Former Multi-State Lottery Affiliation info safety director Eddie Tipton pleaded responsible in 2017 to manipulating software program so he might predict successful numbers on sure days of the 12 months. He and his brother rigged jackpots in quite a few states for a mixed payout of some $24 million.



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