The lottery is popular for one major reason: it’s a chance to instantly change your life. With such large amounts of money on offer, it's impossible for jackpots not to turn fortunes around.
Sometimes, though, we fall into the belief that 'it'll never happen to us'. Lottery winner stories often seem so far removed from our everyday lives that we can't relate. And, when you stop thinking that you can win, it's all too easy to make the mistake of not playing.
However, when genuinely heartwarming rags to riches lottery stories emerge, they're a wonderful reminder to us all that wins do happen, and they could happen to us one day.
The 66-year-old lottery winner
One such heartwarming tale is that of North Carolina's Charles W. Jackson Jr. The 66-year-old retiree was living off his pension when he landed an astounding $344.6 million US Powerball jackpot at the start of June 2019. When calling his wife about the win, humble Jackson told the press that he said 'I think I won at least $50,000,'. Little did he know the vast sum which was soon to land in his bank account.
Carolina's Charles W. Jackson Jr’s lucky numbers
This rags-to-riches tale becomes even more heartwarming when you delve beneath the surface. The six numbers which secured Jackson this astounding jackpot came from a fortune cookie his stepdaughter had when she was six years old. Despite playing the same numbers for years, Jackson had so little faith in his chance to win that he didn't even know where the prize fund stood. Once he realised that all six numbers matched, he had to turn to trusty Google to confirm his winnings.
For lottery players convinced that the odds are stacked against them, it's worth noting that the chances of choosing all six numbers right are around 1 in 292.2 million. Those are some pretty steep statistics, yet it worked for Jackson and countless other people around the world. There's no reason that same luck can't strike for you.
Not one to get carried away by such a significant win, Jackson has yet to splash out on any real extravagant expenses. The only personal expense he's made so far is a trip to his wife's homeland of Vietnam. Aside from that, Jackson has pledged to three charities, claiming, "I'm going to try not to change my life. I'm still going to wear jeans. Maybe newer ones.". Rags to riches or not, then, it looks like Jackson is keen to stay true to the lifestyle he knows. But, doesn't that make this tale even more inspiring? We think so!
You've got to be in it to win it!
Whenever a rags to riches tale like this comes to the fore, it reminds us of one key fact - you have to play a lottery to win a lottery. If Jackson hadn't persevered with his US Powerball buys, he never would've found the fortune that he did. So, if you're thinking of not playing this week, think of Jackson and buy that ticket already!
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