10 Memorable Lottery Stories in 2018: From the Mega Millions Jackpot Mystery to a Family Feud

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It was a lucky year for some, with 2018 bringing them life-changing amounts of cash. 

From a Mega Millions jackpot mystery, to tickets nearly tossed in the trash, to a Jamaican winner who showed up in a distinctive mask to protect her identity, here are our favorite stories of lottery winners from the past year. 

1) Who Won the $1.5 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot?

A single winning ticket was purchased at the KC Mart in Simpsonville, South Carolina, for Oct. 23's historic Mega Millions drawing, but the winner or winners have yet to come forward more than two months later. 

Some think the winner could be waiting until 2019 to claim the prize to allow the money more time to collect interest before taxes have to be paid. Others say that the winner is sorting out their finances prior to coming forward or that they have forgotten they bought a ticket in the first place.

The mysterious winner has until April 21 to claim the prize. If the jackpot is not claimed by then, each participating state in the Mega Millions game will get back the money it contributed to the jackpot. 

2) Michigan Woman Almost Threw Away $50,000 Lottery Ticket

Delaine Passucci, 47, won $50,000 from a lottery ticket she almost threw in the garbage after several failed attempts to check her winnings.

The machine malfunctioned when Passucci first checked the ticket, which she initially bought at a Kroger in Pinckney. Weeks later, she tried again and had the same issue.

"I was just about to toss it in the garbage, when I decided to have the clerk scan it for me,” Passucci said. “When she told me I'd have to go to the lottery office to claim my prize, I realized I'd won too much for the self-scanner to give me a prize amount.”

3) South Carolina Mom and Daughter Win $125,000 Playing the Lottery Together

A mom and daughter struck gold when they stopped to buy a lottery ticket at an Exxon in Charleston, winning $125,000.

“We were jumping up and down,” the daughter said. 

Added the mom: "[We both] flipped out!"

South Carolina allows lottery winners to remain anonymous.

4) South Carolina Husband and Wife Win Back-to-Back Lottery Prizes

They say good things come in pairs!

A husband and wife won back-to-back prizes in the South Carolina Education Lottery, but one of them might need to share.

Samuel Bracey nabbed a quarter of a million dollars after buying a winning ticket at the Corner Market & Grill, a grocery store in Lancaster. He wasn't the only winner, though: He bought a ticket for his wife, who won $10.

5) Virginia Man Says He Won $10 Million Lottery After Rain Kept Him From Mowing Lawn

Bad weather can pay off

Charles Martin told the Virginia Lottery he got home from work on a recent evening and began to mow the lawn but had his efforts stopped short when it began to rain.

Martin instead put his lawn mower away and headed to his favorite convenience store, where he bought a few scratch-off lottery tickets and won $10 million. 

6) New York Man Wins Half of $688 Powerball Jackpot by Playing the Same Numbers for 25 Years

Robert Bailey, 67, won over $340 million in October's Powerball drawing, making him the winner of New York State’s largest lottery jackpot. 

He's been "faithfully" playing the same five numbers for more than 25 years and doesn't plan to stop. 

"I will continue playing my numbers until this train runs out!" he said, adding that he played the same numbers on the way to pick up his check.

7) Jamaican Lottery Winner Shows Up in Emoji Mask to Accept $180 Million Prize

To protect her identity, a Jamaican lottery winner just put on a happy face — a big, yellow, emoji face that covered the entire front of her head.

With a mess of tendrils framing the mask, the woman identified only as N Gray arrived to collect the $180 million in Jamaican dollars she won as part of the May 11 Super Lotto jackpot drawing.

She posed for the cameras holding a giant cardboard check and sporting her smiling and winking mask.

8) Elderly Man Who Joined Lottery Pool After Breaking Hip Was Hospital's Good Luck Charm

Earl Livingston, 87, left home to buy a ticket for that historic $1.5 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot. He was on his way to his local store in southern New Jersey when he slipped and fell. He was rushed to the hospital with a broken hip — and no lottery ticket.

Luckily, he was invited to join the hospital staff's pool. Lo and behold, when the drawing took place, the pool won $1 million.

The staff said Livingston was their lucky charm. 

9) Michigan Couple Wins $1.1 Million Lottery Prize, Thanks to Store Clerk's 'Lucky' Tip

A Michigan man and his wife won about $1.1 million after a store clerk's "lucky" tip

The man, who was not identified, purchased the ticket at Bottles N Stuff on the recommendation of an employee. 

“My wife and I made a last-second decision to stop for Mega Millions tickets," the man told Michigan Lottery officials. "While I was inside buying those, I asked the clerk what $2 instant tickets he had that were lucky. He suggested the Win for Life game, so I bought 10."

The decision paid off!

10) Aunt to Nephew After $1.2 Million Lotto Win: 'See You in Court'

Lottery wins aren't always seamless. A Canadian family was torn apart following a $1.2 million lotto victory in Nova Scotia.

Tyrone MacInnis claimed that he and his aunt Barbara Reddick agreed to split the earnings, but she said she only put his name on the ticket for good luck. 

"He was lucky, but not for half a million dollars," Reddick told reporters, adding to her nephew, "See you in court!" 

They later settled, with MacInnis taking home $350,000 of the prize.

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