News brings you the latest lottery news stories from the international and around the world

The Powerball jackpot just hit $261 million - here's the best time

The Powerball lottery jackpot for August 2 has hit $261 million and the winner will be announced just before 11 p.m. EST. The Powerball lottery jackpot has hit a whopping $261 million , and the question on everyone's mind is "At what point should I actually start caring about the Powerball Lottery"? Answering this question is not so simple, because in addition to calculating the odds of winning a potential jackpot, you also have to figure out the odds that you will have to split the potential jackpot.

How to Win on Lottery Tickets

Buying lottery tickets is easy, but since state-run lotteries in the USA typically pay out only half of their revenue to the winners, there's a house edge of about 50 percent. To boost your odds of winning on lottery tickets when choosing scratch-offs, try the singleton method, which relies on an understanding of the statistical quirks involved in attempts at randomizing numbers. To win on lottery tickets like the powerball game, you'll need to calculate the expected value of certain numbers before picking them. There's no sure way to consistently win on any lottery ticket, but there are some who swear by the legitimacy of these strategies when explaining their own good fortune.

Fake beggars 'have homes and pocket more than £2,000 a month in benefits' while pretending to sleep rough

Beggars are pocketing more than £2,000 a month in benefits – while pretending to sleep rough on Britain’s streets.

Many towns have “prolific” vagrants that already have accommodation, despite giving the impression they are homeless.

They are said to be topping up their state hand-outs – which include housing benefits – by asking unassuming strangers for their spare change.

In recent years there has been a 70% spike nationally in prosecutions for begging.

And Freedom of information figures in 2014 found that of 1,002 people arrested for begging, only 199 were legally defined as homeless.

In Middlesbrough, the council has identified nine main beggars in the town who it says are all entitled to benefits – while most are not homeless.

“Despite the public’s misconception that the street beggars are homeless, eight out the nine have accommodation,” reads a report by the authority.

“All are entitled to receive benefits including Housing Benefit and many have been assessed by the Department of Working Pensions (DWP).

“Their individual circumstances often mean they are receiving upwards of £2,000 a month in benefits but are still choosing to generate additional income by begging.”

The authority states the “majority” of these are hooked on heroin.

In total, there are thought to be around 11 beggars in town at any one point – although it’s claimed there are fewer in the colder winter months.

Banning orders have been used to stop some entering certain areas, while others have already been slapped with Asbos for offences including begging.

Last week, Asbo-pest Stephen Crozier, of Kings Road, in North Ormesby, admitted begging, despite a court hearing he claims benefits and has a roof over his head, according to The Gazette .

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday the 50-year-old repeatedly flouted a begging ban.

A Cineworld security guard spotted him pestering people for cash on December 16, despite his Asbo preventing him from begging.

Crozier’s solicitor said he was begging because he’d run out of cash after his benefits had been paid too early.

Canada lottery jackpot won with numbers from a dream

A Canadian woman who has used the same lottery numbers for nearly 30 years has won the jackpot, winning a CA$5.3m ($3.9m; £3.2m) cash prize.
Olga Beno from Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia, says she "dreamt up" the winning set of numbers in May 1989 and has regularly used them ever since.
The win is a fillip for the cancer sufferer, who has had to sell her home to fund her treatment.
She now plans to build an easy-access ranch-style home with her winnings.
"I know my numbers by heart, and I thought I saw them on the television screen the evening after the draw, but my eyes aren't good," Ms Beno was quoted by Atlantic Lottery as saying.
"So I forgot about it."
The next morning, she was going through the newspaper when she saw the winning digits again.
"At first I thought - it can't be. It's a mistake in the paper. Then I said to my sister, 'I think I won the lottery'.
"She said 'Phone me back when you want to tell me the truth'."
Ms Beno was one of two people to win CA$5.3m from the 28 December draw. The second ticket was sold in western Canada.
Ten years ago she was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer and had to sell her home and start renting.
She said that her husband, children and grandchildren had helped her to survive the illness, and that her intention now is to spoil them by taking them to Disney World.

National Lottery

Tonight’s National Lottery Lotto winning numbers are: 10, 17, 35, 41, 51, 54 and the Bonus Ball is 25. Tonight’s estimated jackpot is £25.4 million.

Tonight’s National Lottery Thunderball winning numbers are: 17, 20, 21, 29, 39 and the Thunderball is 13.

This draw’s £1 million Lotto Millionaire Raffle winning code is: TEAL 4003 7662. As well as making a guaranteed millionaire, there are also 120 Lotto Raffle winners each scooping £20,000.

The first National Lottery draw was held on November 19 1994 when seven winners shared a jackpot of £5,874,778.

The largest amount ever to be won by a single ticket holder was £42million, won in 1996.

The biggest jackpot ever to be up for grabs was £66million in January this year, which was won by two lucky ticket holders.

The odds of winning the lottery are estimated to be about one in 14 million – BUT you’ve got to be in it to win it.

1 Million for Surprised Lottery Winner

A lottery player who believed that she had won a EuroMillions prize of just £2.40 ‘because that’s all I ever won’ got the surprise of her life when she discovered almost three weeks later that she was actually a millionaire. Jacqui Shannon, who is from Witham in Essex and works for the NSPCC, plays the lottery online. She is used to receiving email notifications whenever she wins a prize, but historically she had only ever picked up fairly modest prizes.
hat being the case, she didn’t find it difficult to ignore the ‘news about your ticket’ email that she received shortly after the EuroMillions draw on Tuesday 1 November. ‘I play online and tend to buy a few weeks-worth at a time, which is what I had done on this occasion, using £25 from a previous win,’ Jacquie explained. '

When I saw the email telling me I'd had a win I assumed it was something small so just didn't get around to checking it.’ Jacqui didn’t log into her online lottery account until a few weeks later, when she decided that she needed to top up her balance. And that’s when she discovered that she didn’t need to top up her account at all, because her EuroMillions ticket had won one of the two Millionaire Maker prizes of £1 million that had also been up for grabs. Initially, the 46-year-old mum of one couldn’t quite believe her eyes,

and she kept on looking at the figure on the screen and counting the zeros. But then the enormity of her success began to sink in, and she quickly wished that she had checked her account a little earlier. ‘Had I known I was a millionaire for those weeks,’ she said, ‘I wouldn’t have had to worry about how we were going to get my car MOT’d!’ Jaqui now intends to take a first-class trip to see her sister in Dubai, buy new cars for herself and her husband,

and to ensure that her son’s future is financially secure. We congratulate her on her win and wish her every success and happiness in the months and years ahead. This is a great story to begin the week with, and once again it highlights the importance of checking the Millionaire Maker and Lotto Millionaire Raffle codes as well as the numbers from the main draws. There are several big lottery prizes won in recent weeks that have yet to be claimed, so if you haven’t been in the habit of checking your tickets thoroughly be sure to visiting our Unclaimed Lottery Prizes page for further details. Monday 5th December 2016

First Ever European Millionaire Maker Draw!

The first ever European Millionaire Maker draw will take place this Friday 28 October, and is guaranteed to award 25 prizes of €1 million to EuroMillions participants. Even better, if any of the winning players purchase their ticket in the UK, the prize will be converted to pounds sterling and then rounded up to £1 million so that every winner can celebrate a life-changing seven-figure windfall.
Giving yourself the chance of winning one of the 25 guaranteed European Millionaire Maker prizes is easy. Simply buy an entry for this Friday’s main EuroMillions game and, for every line of numbers that you purchase, you will receive one European Millionaire Maker code, which will be allocated at random and printed on your ticket automatically.
The odds of being a winner in the European Millionaire Maker prize depends, as with any other raffle-style game, on the number of tickets that are purchased in total. Of course, if you buy several lines of numbers then you will have several European Millionaire Maker codes in your possession, each of which could win you a seven-figure fortune.
It is important to note that every European Millionaire Maker code will have the same chance of winning a prize, regardless of where the ticket was purchased. A player in the UK will therefore have exactly the same odds of winning with a single entry as a player in France, Spain, Portugal or any of the other participating nations. 
The European Millionaire Maker prizes are in addition to the two UK Millionaire Maker prizes of £1 million that are also guaranteed to be won this Friday. Every ticket purchased will therefore give UK players several chances of winning a big prize, including the EuroMillions jackpot itself, which is expected to be worth around £15 million.
Whilst we are on the topic of winning big money, it is worth mentioning the top prize in the midweek Lotto game on Wednesday rolled over, so the jackpot in the next draw this Saturday is expected to be worth around £9 million. In addition, the Lotto Millionaire Raffle game will create one winner of £1 million, and another 20 players will each win £20,000 in the Lotto Raffle draw.
Players who buy their lottery tickets online for any game will be pleased to hear that they will be notified by email of any prize they have won. However, those who buy tickets from offline retailers must remember to check their own tickets carefully after the draw so that they can claim any prize due straight away. People often forget to check their Millionaire Maker codes or Lotto Millionaire Raffle numbers as well as their main lottery numbers, and they can therefore miss out on some massive prizes. 
Right now, there are multiple prizes of up to £1 million that have yet to be claimed from previous lottery draws, so do visit our Unclaimed Prizes page to make sure that none of them are yours! When you have done that, download one of our free lottery apps so that you can check your future numbers on your mobile no matter where you are when a draw takes place.
Having dozens of guaranteed seven-figure lottery prizes to play for in a single draw doesn’t come along every week, so be sure to get involved in the first ever European Millionaire Maker game this Friday if you want to make the most of it. Buy your tickets early to avoid the last-minute rush, good luck with your numbers, and we wish you a winning weekend!

Woman Wins $1 Million Trying to Prove Lottery Waste

A woman’s efforts to prove that her husband’s interest in lottery games was a waste of money backfired spectacularly when she ended up winning a scratch card prize of $1 million. 57-year-old Glenda Blackwell, who lives in North Carolina, had been asked by her husband Buddy to buy two tickets for the Powerball lottery game, but instead she bought a $10 Carolina Millions scratch card with the intention of teaching him a lesson.
What happened next gave Glenda the biggest surprise of all, because she then scratched the game card panels and revealed symbols worth a cool $1 million. ‘I was going to be ugly and buy a scratch off to show him they didn’t hit,’ Glenda explained after the win. ‘Sometimes I get aggravated with him, so I tell him, “You're just wasting your money.” I had to eat my words, but they were worth eating.’
Glenda had to choose between taking her $1 million prize as 20 annual payments of $50,000 each, or a smaller after-tax lump sum of $415,503, opting for the latter. The sceptic-turned-lottery-winner now intends to use her scratch card prize to buy a new home and help to put her two granddaughters through college. However, despite having won a top prize of $1 million, Glenda has said that she doesn’t intend to buy any more lottery tickets.
Scepticism about lottery games is not uncommon, and at some point, all players wonder whether or not they are wasting their money. However, participating in lottery games can be a relatively cheap hobby, with a ticket costing less than a cup of coffee at most outlets. And the good news – as Glenda Blackwell discovered first hand – is that it only takes one winning ticket to make the hobby worthwhile.
Here in the UK, lottery players have a wide choice of games to suit both their pockets and their aspirations to win big. Lotto and EuroMillions tend to dominate the headlines in this country, but Thunderball is an oft-overlooked game which also has plenty to offer. 
Thunderball tickets cost just £1 each, but the game has a top prize of £500,000, eight consolation prize levels (including a minimum prize of £3 for matching the Thunderball only) and every line of numbers entered has a 1 in 13 chance of winning a prize of some kind. Winning the top prize probably wouldn’t allow you to live the rest of your days like an A-List celebrity, but it could still be more than enough to help you pay off the mortgage, buy a new car and enjoy the holiday of your dreams. Visit our Thunderball area for more information and the next lottery player to win big just might be you!

Single Ticket Wins Eight-Figure Midweek Lotto Jackpot!

A single ticket landed an eight-figure jackpot in the midweek Lotto game on Wednesday 2 November. The top prize, which had rolled over in each of the three previous draws, had a final value of £10,816,275, and the numbers which enabled the lucky winner to land that sum were 05, 14, 19, 24, 31 and 38. The Bonus Ball number on Wednesday was 29.
We don’t yet know who the winning player is, but if they are already aware of their success it is a good bet that they will now spend some time coming to terms with the additional £10.8 million that they suddenly have at their disposal. They will also need to think about whether or not they want to go public with their win or opt to remain anonymous.
It is always nice to get a brand new month off to a winning start,  and the jackpot winner wasn’t the only player with cause to celebrate on Wednesday night because more than one million consolation prizes were also won. The biggest of those was a second tier prize of £51,177, and that was won by a single ticket, which matched five main numbers plus the Bonus Ball.
In the associated Lotto Millionaire Raffle game on Wednesday, one player won a cool £1 million by matching the code ROSE 6945 1551, whilst another 20 players won £20,000 by matching one of the Lotto Raffle codes. The full list of winning codes can be viewed on our Lotto Results page.
The next Lotto game this Saturday 5 November will now offer a brand new jackpot of around £3.6 million, and there will be another prize of £1 million to be won in the Lotto Millionaire Raffle game, as well as 20 more prizes of £20,000 each in the Lotto Raffle game. 
Before we get to that, of course, we have the EuroMillions game to enjoy on Friday 4 November. The jackpot there is expected to be worth around £26 million, and two participants in the UK are guaranteed to win £1 million each in the associated Millionaire Maker draw. Visit our EuroMillions Statistics page if you’d like some inspiration for your entries, and good luck! 

French Ticket Wins EuroMillions Jackpot

One lottery entry which had been purchased in France matched all seven numbers in the EuroMillions game on Tuesday 8 November to win a double-rollover jackpot with a final value of €39,336,342. That equates to £35,072,281 in pounds sterling, and the numbers that landed that top prize were 05, 09, 47, 49 and 50, along with the Lucky Star numbers 08 and 09.
This is the first jackpot win for France since the new EuroMillions rules came into effect in September, but the 81st that the nation has enjoyed since the game was launched in February 2004. That makes France the luckiest of all nine participating countries as far as jackpot wins are concerned, with Spain and the UK taking second and third positions with 78 and 63 wins, respectively. Full details can be viewed on the EuroMillions Statistics page.
One ticket matched all five main numbers and one Lucky Star, and that ticket was bought in Spain, giving its lucky owner a second-tier prize worth €845,567. Three entries – two of which had been purchased right here in the UK – won £40,037 each by matching five main numbers only, and more than 1.43 million tickets won smaller prizes across the lower levels.
Whilst UK players missed out on prizes at the top two tiers in the main EuroMillions game on Tuesday, they still had plenty to shout about thanks to the associated Millionaire Maker game. The winning codes were HRFJ03933 and HRFK01767, and the two players who each matched one of those codes can now claim a life-changing cash prize of £1 million.
The next EuroMillions game this Friday 11 November will offer a brand new jackpot which should be worth around £15 million, but before we get to that we first have a midweek Lotto jackpot to play for. The top prize in tonight’s Lotto draw is expected to be worth around £2.1 million, and the most overdue numbers to look out for as we head towards that game are 14, 41, 37, 57, 02 and 34.
Whatever numbers you choose to play for the Lotto and EuroMillions games, download one of our free lottery apps so that you can check the results on your mobile device, and good luck!

Good Causes Win Every Time!

Most lottery players consider themselves lucky whenever they win a prize of any kind, but it is always worth remembering that Good Causes win every single time a draw takes place. Every ticket purchased for a lottery game in the UK raises money for worthwhile projects, and now some 500,000 projects have been supported since the National Lottery was launched. Around £36 million is raised each week for Good Causes, so let’s take a quick look at some of the most recent beneficiaries…
The 500,000th National Lottery grant has just recently been awarded to a project called Ipswich 4 Family. This voluntary organisation exists to assist parents who need some help in raising their children, and it does so by supplying family mentors who provide friendship as well as both practical and emotional support. The lottery grant will be used to train additional volunteers for this important work.
‘Life can be lonely and exhausting,’ said Dot Cordie, who is Chair of Trustees at Ipswich 4 Family. ‘Parents can feel like they have nowhere to turn. Ipswich 4 Family is a group of trained people who will listen, encourage and support parents to help make their lives better.’
Another project that has recently benefitted from money raised by lottery players is RainbowBiz in Flintshire, which was one of 58 communities across Wales that shared £101,278 in funding from the Big Lottery Fund. RainbowBiz is a social enterprise that aims to promote equality and diversity in the community, and their grant of £1,893 will fund an event to ‘celebrate the integration of diverse communities.’
‘We just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who plays the National Lottery for making this possible and we are just so grateful,’ said the Director of RainbowBiz, Sarah Way. ‘We can celebrate with our volunteers now.’
The two projects just mentioned are fairly small and serve their immediate community, but the money raised for Good Causes also helps to support projects that are much broader in scale. For example, the Heritage Lottery Fund recently put together a £25 million National Lottery funding package that will help city dwellers in Bath, Glasgow, London and Sheffield to reconnect with the nature and countryside around them, as well as fund landscape projects in eight other areas. 
Ros Kerslake, who is Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), explained more. ‘Our historic landscapes are incredibly important to people’s wellbeing and need to be protected. Some of the landscapes we are funding today are in the most remote parts of the UK; others form an important backdrop to some of our largest cities.  What they all have in common is the potential to make people’s lives better, which is why they are so richly deserving of National Lottery money.’
These are just a few of the Good Causes that are being supported by lottery players each and every week, so the next time you buy yourself a ticket, pause for a moment and feel good about the fact that your participation makes a very real difference to worthwhile projects all across the UK.