Win the lottery? More chance of being struck by lightning

 

New York

A Kansas man has revealed that hours after buying three tickets in last week's Mega Millions lottery frenzy that swept America, he was hit by lightning, proving the adage about how hopelessly small the chances are of winning.

He was, of course, among the legions of the disappointed when the lucky numbers were finally picked on Friday night, giving up a jackpot of $656m (£409m), allegedly the biggest in US history. Officials said tickets with the correct combination had been sold in three states: Maryland, Illinois and, as it happens, Kansas.

Who the lucky so-and-so's were remained a mystery last night, although we did know more precisely where each of the tickets was sold. In the case of Maryland it was a 7-Eleven shop north of Baltimore which was instantly swamped by reporters. Only in Illinois are the rules clear that the winner must identify themselves when they claim their prize. In the other two states anonymity is allowed, and it is possible the winners will never come forward.

At the MotoMart in the tiny town of Red Bud, where Illinois' winning ticket was sold, the manager, Denise Metzger, said: "It's just unbelievable. Everyone is wanting to know who it is. I was hoping someone from Red Bud would win. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this. I'm just tickled pink."

Stephen Martino, the director of the Maryland Lottery, said: "We obviously don't have any idea right now who the player is. When they will come forward our advice to the player is to safeguard the ticket. Sign the back of it."

Each winning ticket is worth $213m before taxes, if paid in instalments. However, the sum gets cut significantly if each of the winners decides to take their prize as a lump sum.

No one, perhaps, felt more foolish yesterday than the lightning victim, Bill Isles, who was hospitalised with an out-of-sync heart but who is otherwise fairly unscathed after being struck late on Thursday outside his home in Wichita.

"It threw me to the ground quivering," he said. "It kind of scrambled my brain and gave me an irregular heartbeat." But recovering in hospital on Friday evening, just before the lottery draw, he sent a friend out to buy him ten more tickets.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine