It’s just another day in the life of New York’s residents. They start their day, complete their daily routine, and think nothing much of it. The odds of one of those New Yorker’s winning the jackpot after purchasing a lottery ticket? An estimated 100,000,000 to 1… odds that none of the following three winners ever thought they would beat!
Lou Eisenberg was the New York lottery’s first big winner. Lou led a simple life changing lightbulbs in a midtown office building and earning a mere $225 a week. His life was forever changed on an unusually lucky Friday the 13th in 1981 when he hit the jackpot and took home a whopping $5-million. Lou’s win enabled him to quit his job and buy an ocean-view condo with a terrace in Brighton Beach. As his fame grew, naturally, so did his spending. This included a host of friends, family members and community members who approached him for financial help, which he gladly provided. Eisenberg claimed that he wanted to be nice to people. A big chunk of his winnings also went to his second ex-wife. By 2001, Lou was broke. While some may say it was a waste, Lou proudly states, “I wouldn’t have it any other way”.
For most people, spending most of their winnings on materialistic things buys a short period of happiness. This, however, was not the case for Ruby Sorah. This amazing 90-year-old decided to do something different with her sum of $43 million by splitting the sum of her winnings between her family members. Ruby and her husband made only one purchase with their new found riches, which turned out to be a spark plug for their lawnmower. Following this, a decision was made to give the rest of it away. As described by their loved ones and neighbors, the Sorah couple were very kind people who lived very simple lives.
With Lou being the first big winner of the lottery and Ruby the most humble winner, Harold Diamond had his work cut out for him. At the age of 80, this hardworking, law-abiding citizen won the biggest Jackpot lottery ever claimed in the New York state Lottery history. One evening during a severe storm, Harold heeded the wisdom of this wife, Carol, who told him to stop off at a gas station after going to vote. With some time to kill, Harold decided to spend $10 for 10 sets of Quick Pick numbers. Harold decidedly forgot about the ticket until the next day whilst playing golf. As he listened to the news, he heard that the winner of the jackpot of $326 million had purchased a ticket at the Valero on Route 302. He immediately remembered that he had bought a ticket there the night before and raced home to talk to Carol. Harold’s plans for his money included looking after his family and taking Carol to Hawaii for their 55th wedding anniversary.
Young or old, rich or poor – you just never know who will be next. The New York Lottery has changed the lives of countless players to date – could you be next?
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