What would you do if you won $10,000 from a lottery ticket? Buy a new car? Pay off some debt? Finally redo that bathroom? Well, one woman decided to push her luck and buy more lotto tickets at another store, where she went on to win another cool $1 million—all in the same day!
“We don’t normally play the lottery,” Michelle Shuffler from North Carolina told the North Carolina Education Lottery blog. “My husband just happened to have some cash in his pocket. At the last second, he decided to buy a ticket.”
That last-second ticket became $10,000. But $10,000 wasn’t enough for the Shufflers, who were feeling the adrenaline rush after their surprise win.
“We saw that the game had a million dollar prize. So we decided, ‘Why not try to beat the odds again?’” Shuffler said in the blog.
They stopped at another North Carolina store 22 miles away and won the million-dollar prize! Shuffler decided to take the annuity option for the larger prize, so she’ll receive 20 annual payments of $50,000. She told the lotto she plans on saving for retirement and sending her children to college.
Shuffler’s amazing win comes on the heels of another amazing double win. Kimberly Morris, also of North Carolina, hit the jackpot twice in one day at the end of October. Morris bought a Diamond Dazzler lottery ticket in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and won $10,000. Not bad. But, like Shuffler, she decided to press her luck.
“I was shocked,” Morris told ABC News. “It felt really great to win, but I really have always dreamed I would win $1 million.”
Well, lo and behold, Morris did win $1 million before the day was over. She stopped at another store on her way home, and bought a winning ticket worth $1 million! Unlike Shuffler, Morris decided to take her winnings in a lump-sum payout of $417,012 after taxes.
Annuity vs. Lump Sum
So now that we’re all dreaming of the day when we hit the jackpot twice in one day, the question is: Should we take an annuity payment like Shuffler or a lump sum like Morris?
It depends on who you ask. Many people, even Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, recommend the annuity, which means monthly checks for many years to come.
“If you get a huge lump sum, it’s easier to make a mistake, whereas if you choose the annuity, then at least if you mess up and blow the first year’s worth, you have another chance,” Nick Holeman, certified financial planner at Betterment, told CNBC.
On the other hand, a lump-sum payment could allow a lottery winner with a lot of self control to come out ahead in the long run. Business Insider calculated that even if you pay yourself $1 million each year, you could still end up ahead by investing the full lump sum of a large lottery payout.
Hope you’re as lucky as Shuffler and Morris? Don’t bet on it—because they’re amazing winning days were incredibly rare. Statistician Ronald Wasserstein of the American Statistical Association told Newsweek he estimates the odds of one person winning $10,000 and $1 million on scratch-offs in one day, in the same state, are around 1 in 44 million.
“Since millions of people play the lottery every day, we can actually expect things like this to happen a few times a year somewhere in the U.S.,” Wasserstein told Newsweek after Morris’ double win.
And as luck would have it–the same thing did happen again just a few weeks later in the very same state. What an amazing story and congrats to these lucky ladies!