You Never Know When Your Number’s Up!

Lottery Stories in the News

Real stories about the lottery/lotto pulled from headlines (Can’t make this stuff up!)

lotto machine


24 Feb, 2019: It’s been four months since the single winner of the $1.5 billion MegaMillions prize…and the winner has yet to come forward. Now that’s MegaBalls! – Read More Here 

Of course, the winner will have a lot of taxes to pay – but we could help with that! Our film is grandfathered in a federal film tax incentive allowing investors to fully deduct their investment in our film against passive income – such as lottery winners!


– Jan. 27, 2019. A CBS 60 Minutes report talks about how, in some instances, there is a math solution to the lottery problem, and you don’t need to be an MIT grad. In fact, these people created a corporation and sold shares to friends in family, who shared in the winnings. In this case, it was a flaw in Michigan’s Cash WinFall lottery game, and it caused the state to fix the problem…but the winners then saw the same problem in Massachusetts. But in Mass, they found competition with MIT grads, a story that got little notice, but we spotted years ago, AFTER the first draft of our story.

But even better, it’s another tale in how the core of our comedy, MegaBall$, is not so far fetched. Watch the piece below:


2-12-19 – One of the downsides with winning a lottery prize is that most states require you to show up in person to claim your prize. You may not have someone else, such as a lawyer, collect for you. And part of the ceremony is having your photo taken while holding a giant check. This makes your name a face public, and subject to people approaching you for loans, investments, help, etc….possibly even threats or attempts at kidnapping. A few states realize the potential problem and allow a representative to get the prize on your behalf. Well, here’s a story how one winner dealt with problem (video on page). PS – If you’re a big winner, can we interest you in investing in our film (it’s tax deductible).  🙂


Sept 10 – 2018: A 73 year-old New York man says he bought a $30 scratch off ticket at a convenience store while buying Slim Jims snack for his dog. He won $10 million! Hey, you never know. READ MORE.


What are they odds? Is it really all fiction?

Those who have read the script for MegaBall$ often point out the suspension of belief needed to accept that there could be a possible mathematical solution to predicting lottery numbers. After all, numbers are randomly drawn. The odds of picking all 6 of the Powerball numbers are i in 292,201,338. You have better chance of being killed on the way to purchasing the ticket. Richard Lustig, who was going to make a cameo in our film but recently passed away, won seven grand prizes.

However, there have been two documented cases were algorithms have done very well!

One was a case where a group of MIT students gamed the system in Massachusetts in 2005, winning millions. They found a flaw in the state run game called “Cash WinFall.” They won millions, and it led to the state to changing the game. Read more HERE, HERE and HERE.

More recently, Stefan Mandel, a Romanian-born Australian mathematician/economist, defied the 1 in 14 million odds and won 12 major wins. READ MORE.

So the concept is not totally impossible, and there is a grain of truth to what our inept would-be heroes attempt in MegaBall$. Hey, you never know when your number’s up!


We at Oroloro sadly note the passing of Richard Lustig. Richard was a 7-time lottery winner who toured the country giving lectures on the lottery. He authored the book Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery.

Richard had agreed to portray himself in a cameo in our comedy film, MegaBall$. He was a big supporter of our effort and would often promote our project.

Our sincere condolences go to Richard’s family, who as we understand it will continue to operate his various lottery-related enterprises. We will reach out to the family about keeping the character name “Richard Lustig” in his honor.




6-13-18 Not all Lottery winners are truly lucky.

Sadly, while some people are lucky and win big lottery prizes their luck often runs out soon after. Take for example, Donald Savastano. Soon after he won a $1 million dollar jackpot he died from cancer. (READ MORE)

The NY Post reported today … Owen Dillard (pictured here), a recent two-time lottery winner was stabbed to death inside his Bronx home. (READ MORE)

On a positive note, an Australian man won a $1,100,792 and the same week won an additional $770,556. (MORE)

As we say, you never know when your number’s up.



May 15, 2018 – What would you do if you won a major lottery prize? Quit your job?…buy a big house? Well, here’s a story of a winner to did something a little different!

March 31, 2018 – The single winning ticket for the Mega Millions $521 million jackpot was sold in New Jersey. We want names & emails! Wonder if they want to help produce a film…after all, they’re gonna have huge taxes due, and investment in MegaBall$ is tax deductible against passive income such as lottery winnings). Read more on the winning ticket HERE.

Maybe they should contact HGTV. David Bromstead hosts a new show called My Lottery Dream Home, where he helps winners find a new home with their winnings.


Feb 18, 2018.  The fascination of lotto and lottery goes back many centuries. Some object and view it as a form of tax on poorer people, for they are the ones who play the lottery more often in hopes to raising their economic status. While this is partly true, many play the lottery for the dream – imagining how they would change their lives with the winnings. But there is one warning to those dreamers – it doesn’t always end well. There are many winners who have gone bankrupt after winning, or have alienated friends and family and, in some case, have been killed. One thing is for sure, winning will completely change your life. Are you ready?

This photo is of a lotto shop in Vienna, Austria, operating since 1752.



This photo c. 1890 is of some hopeful players in Vienna checking their numbers.

Dec 28, 2017: A computer glitch in the South Carolina lottery caused multiple winners. What seemed like a Christmas gift turned out to be coal. The error lasted more than 2 hours, generating an abundance of winners and the system was suspended. Read more.


August 22, 2017:  The lottery commission knew exactly what they were doing when the increased the pool of numbers from which to choose….the increased the odds…and increased the jackpot levels, thereby increase interest in Powerball. READ MORE.


Aug 21, 2017. While on July 24th a doctor diagnosed a New Zealand lottery winner with euphoria after winning $7.6 million (wouldn’t you? read more) Eddie Tipton (pictured left) of Texas is experiencing the exact opposite.

It seems Mr. Tipton, a computer programmer at the Central Iowa office at the Lottery Association, was caught and admitted to rigging a multi-state lottery and is facing 25 years in prison. It seems he and his brother admitted to fixing the lottery six times in five different states winning $2 million. Read more HERE  HERE and HERE.

But winning isn’t’ everything. Many winners are facing tough times. For example $110mil winner Cynthia Stafford donated and spent her way into bankruptcy. Here are some other winners who became losers.


July 20, 2017: Jules Parent, a 69 year-old man of Quebec City has won the Canadian lottery a second time!

Read More


June 30, 2016: NYPD Cop buys winning $65 million winning ticket…by mistake!

Vito Viola, a sergeant with the 120th Precinct of the New York Police Department, serving since 2005, followed his wife’s order when he bought lottery tickets on the way home. He had a dollar change and took an extra quick-pick ticket. The next next morning his number was up. The ticket was a winner worth $169 million dollars.

Hey, you never know!  Read more: HERE   and   HERE.

Meanwhile, the MegaMillions jackpot is climbing to near record numbers with a prize of $415 million. Powerball is up to a mere $243 million.

That’s a lotta ziti!


Feb 1, 2016: Here’s a story of a man who challenged the lottery system buying large blocks of tickets. The concept is discussed within the dialogue of our film, MEGABALL$, but in practice it’s, well, impracticable. Maybe back in 1992, when there were less number combinations. But back then, one man won 14 lotteries. READ MORE:


With the Powerball odd so high, why do we buy tickets? In our script our characters explain it as we’re buying hope. We’re buying ourselves the opportunity to fantasize about what we’d do with vast wealth. Here’s an article on this subject at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Jan 21, 2016: From what seems like a made up storyline in our film, MegaBall$ ….A recent winner of a 1/2 million dollar lottery in Georgia was killed overnight from gunshot wounds. Read More …. In fact, there are stories about ten lottery winners who died tragically READ HERE and HERE and HERE. As we say in our tag line, “You never know when you’re numbers up.

Jan 10, 2016 – With no winner on Saturday’s record-breaking Powerball prize, the value is expected to rise to over $1.3 billion. This brings up a new issue: the lottery overseers will need to redesign all the digital signs across the nation, and this includes billboards, and even their website. Why? Because the current designs only have 3 digits restricting

the prize amount display to only $999 million…..


We’ll need to adjust the screenplay of MegaBall$ to reflect the trend on increasing jackpots.

January 6, 2016: The sixth highest Powerball lottery drawing is tonight, with an estimated prize of $450 million. That’s a lotta ziti! My supporters remind me that every time there’s lottery mania MegaBall$ gets free publicity. The ten highest-ever lottery prizes occurred once we began developing our comedy film, MegaBall$. Coincidence?

Read more

Dec 23, 2015: A Powerball official who has run the Powerball game since its inception was quietly removed after a jackpot-fixing scandal.  Eddie Tipton, former security director, under investigation, was convicted in July of fraud for working with associates in an attempt to claim a fixed jackpot. Read more HERE  and HERE and HERE.

A 61-year old man, homeless for six years, won a $500,ooo scratch-off lottery in Colorado. He had spent the weekend sleeping on the floor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church before its director drove him to the lottery office. Sometimes good things happen to people in need. Read More.

Here’s another lottery story from ‘believe it or not.” I seems a  spirit medium in Bangkok who had a reputation for predicting winning lottery numbers was found shot dead, possibly by underground lottery operators. Here’s the full story.

When is a winner not a winner? When it’s a lottery win of more than $600 in Illinois.  Due to a stalemate in the Illinois State Budget as of October 15, the State will not issue payout checks for winnings above $600. Two lottery winners have filed a federal lawsuit against the Illinois Lottery seeking to the agency to pay winners of more than $25,000 with a 5% interest. The suit alleges more than a dozen await prizes. Read more HERE and HERE.

It seems all that glitters may be gold, but not legal. A probe into lottery-rigging widens in Iowa. A lottery official has been accused of rigging up to three drawings over 5 years. The “rigger” was convicted in July of fraud and given a 10-year sentence in an attempt to rig a 2010 drawing, and now faces additional charges.

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a funny but astute video about the lottery by John Oliver (“Last Week Tonight). CLICK HERE

A winning lottery ticket sold in Brooklyn, NY (#Cash4Life) worth $7 million remains #unclaimed and is about to expire. The NY Lottery has put up wanted posters (these are real!). Read more HERE … and HERE …and HERE.

               Lotto-Posters-Wanted-0723b          Lotto-Posters-Wanted-0723a

A Canadian man beats the odds! A lightning strike survivor wins a $1m lottery. The odds of being struck by lightning in Canada are slightly less than one in a million; the odds of winning the Atlantic Lotto are 13,983,816 to one. READ MORE….and MORE. Those are truly odds to die for!

Here are two stories of reports about unclaimed lottery tickets expiring. Sorry guys, you won but you lost: Story 1     Story 2  – and a link to many  NBC News reports  about lottery winners.

Here’s a good piece about buying all the possible combinations of a Powerball game. By the way, the Feb 11th Powerball prize actually totaled $564 million, and there were three winners – North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico. By the way, you can download the free NYS Lottery APP HERE.

Lotto slug

One of the largest Powerball jackpots in history will be today, Feb 11. 2015, and growing every hour. Here’s a CBS report on the prize. One of the great things about this project, lottery news like this in some ways becomes marketing fodder for the film.

Feb 6, 2015: The jackpot for the PowerBall lottery will now be more than $450 nillion, making it the third largest in PowerBalls history. Fascination with the lotto (MegaMillions and Powerball) has been increasing since we began developing this comedy film. The largest jackpots in lottery history have occurred in the past three years. Read more by clicking on these links: Powerball MegaMillions

An arrest in an unclaimed lottery ticket – click here

An independent comedy feature film by Oroloro Entertainment