Lucky Powerball Birthday

birthday lottery

So, followers of this blog shouldn’t be expecting super-cool birthday presents this year. I did not win the Powerball lottery. Shucks.

But, I did see the familiar theme in the coverage following several jackpot wins — playing family birthdays!

Mavis L. Wancyzk bought a total of five tickets. For three of them she selected the numbers and the other two were computer generated. It was a combination of family birthdays and her “magic number” (4) that netted her a $758.7 million win, though.

The Chicopee, MA, immediately quit her hospital job (after 32 years) and claimed a lump sum payment of $480 million, or $336 million after taxes. It’s the largest grand prize won by a single lottery ticket in U.S. history.

Wancyzk wasn’t the only one to see a big win. There are 40 tickets worth $1 million or more, and an additional $135 million in prize money will go to 9.4 million other ticket buyers who didn’t win the jackpot

Big Win Birthdays

One of the other winners was in North Carolina. Barbara Graves’ take is a pittance compared to Wancyzk’s; but would any of us really complain about a $200,000 award?

birthday lottery

Graves picked her own numbers to win, again using birthdays. “I use my birthday, my kids’ birthday, and my granddaughters’ birthday,” she told the NC lottery’s press office.

Doing so saw her beating odds of 913,129 to win a post-tax haul of $138,915. “I was shaking and crying. I must checked my ticket a hundred times,” she said. Her big plans for the moolah? Buying a silver metallic Honda Accord.

Of course, many of those of us who did not win — not even one number?! — probably also played birthday numbers. Thus, I can’t really argue that playing birthdays is the guarantee of a golden ticket — statisticians could probably even tell us how unlikely it is. Yet, it does at least make me a little happier to know that the formula for these others’ success involved birthdays.

Top 5 Ways to Spend $300K birthday present

Birthday lottery winning

Photo credit: Infomastern via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

It’s been a family tradition for years for family members to send Ervin Smolinksi scratch-off lottery tickets and chocolate for his birthday. This year it paid off.

The 94-year-old man made the news when he won $300,000 in the Michigan Lottery. His daughter-in-law bought the winning ticket as a gift for the World War II veteran.

“I’ve seen a whole lot in my life, and I don’t get worked up easily. I think my son-in-law was more worked up that I was,” Smolinksi said. In the CNN coverage the former sailor said, ”

I’m pretty frugal, I always shop sales and take care of my money and that won’t change.”
“The only thing that will change is I won’t have as much stress in my life worrying about money,” the former sailor said, “I’m pretty frugal, I always shop sales and take care of my money and that won’t change….The only thing that will change is I won’t have as much stress in my life worrying about money.”

Birthday Money

His win got me thinking though, as I probably too often do, what I would do if I won the lottery. Considering I don’t often play the lottery, it’s really a ridiculous game to play in my head. Yet, I enjoy the mental game. So, because this blog is often about giving, let me give you my top 5 ways to spend lottery winnings:

  1. Travel the world. Truly. Buy a tour package that has a travel agent set it up for you to get to every continent and live it up in luxurious hotels along the way.
  2. Pay off (or if you’re renting now buy with cash) house. Think of the joy of having a home that’s all equity. Come time to sell it, or pass it on, you’re sitting on value.
  3. Build up the college fund. With just one kid it’ll be easier for me to top up the account with some of these extra dollars, but putting it in his account in advance gives my family the benefit of accrued interest.
  4. Throw a massive — and I mean massive — par-tay for everyone I know and love in a destination location and with me footing the bill for hotels and travel and all that. Sort of like a wedding party, but I pay for it and we don’t have to say “I do” again.
  5. Donate. Find a few causes that you truly care about. Do the research about their credibility and give, give, give.

Those who are good at math might realize something here…I’ve probably overspent the $300K. Especially after the government takes the taxes out. Still, it’s fun to imagine isn’t it? Do you have a different top five? I’d love to hear other suggestions.

Top 5 Ways to Spend a $300K birthday present.

birthday winning

Photo credit: BradPerkins via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

It’s been a family tradition for years for family members to send Ervin Smolinksi scratch-off lottery tickets and chocolate for his birthday. This year it paid off.

The 94-year-old man made the news when he won $300,000 in the Michigan Lottery. His daughter-in-law bought the winning ticket as a gift for the World War II veteran.

“I’ve seen a whole lot in my life, and I don’t get worked up easily. I think my son-in-law was more worked up that I was,” Smolinksi told the news.

The win got me thinking though, as I probably too often do, what I would do if I won the lottery. Considering I don’t often play the lottery, it’s really a ridiculous game to play in my head. Yet, I enjoy the mental game. So, because this blog is often about giving, let me give you my top 5 ways to spend lottery winnings:

  1. Travel the world. Truly. Buy a tour package that has a travel agent set it up for you to get to every continent and live it up in luxurious hotels along the way.
  2. Pay off (or if you’re renting now buy with cash) house. Think of the joy of having a home that’s all equity. Come time to sell it, or pass it on, you’re sitting on value.
  3. Build up the college fund. With just one kid it’ll be easier for me to top up the account with some of these extra dollars, but putting it in his account in advance gives my family the benefit of accrued interest.
  4. Throw a massive — and I mean massive — par-tay for everyone I know and love in a destination location and with me footing the bill for hotels and travel and all that. Sort of like a wedding party, but I pay for it and we don’t have to say “I do” again.
  5. Donate. Find a few causes that you truly care about. Do the research about their credibility and give, give, give.

Those who are good at math might realize something here…I’ve probably overspent the $300K. Especially after the government takes the taxes out. Still, it’s fun to imagine isn’t it? Do you have a different top five? I’d love to hear other suggestions.