A massive scratch card win is a dream for many. Not only are scratch cards often cheaper than regular lottery tickets - they are often more valuable. While winning a jackpot on a scratch card may be exceedingly difficult, could you imagine winning two jackpots in only a matter of weeks?
Well, an American military veteran from the state of North Carolina knows exactly what that feels like. Amazingly he defied colossal odds after claiming a $750,000 lottery prize just five weeks after he cashed in on a separate $100,000 jackpot. The winner was able to take home just shy of $1 million in prizes thanks to the 2 lottery games.
the winner, Michael Buinicky from Charlotte, told officials that his first lucky prize was won on February 9th, when he bought a $20 100X The Cash scratch-off ticket and initially thought he had won $10,000, only to realise that he had actually won $100,000 as the Charlotte Observer reported at the time.
The game launched early in January with three $4 million prizes, six $1 million prizes and six $100,000 prizes. At the time he spoke of his good fortune:
“I just keep thinking, ‘What If I hadn’t stopped?’ Someone else could have bought that ticket. I was at the right place at the right time,”
It was five weeks later when the Air Force veteran decided to purchase another scratch-off, albeit a different type of ticket, at a pharmacy in the suburb of Matthews in the hopes that he could consolidate his recent good luck.
"I got a Jumbo Bucks ticket from the vending machine. I've always liked that ticket. I started scratching and saw the '34' and '34.' I thought, 'Wait a minute. That's the top prize.' I put the ticket under the scanner and it said, 'Go to headquarters' and I knew I'd won."
Buinicky went to the local lottery headquarters to claim his latest massive jackpot, which came to a cool $528,760 after required state taxes and federal withholdings. According to a release from the NC Education lottery, his first jackpot went towards helping his son with graduate school and his daughter with funding her first home.
He’s not alone in lottery winners helping their children - Dennis Kujava, who recently split $22 million with his sister Debbie, shared his winnings with his two daughters. For Buinicky however, he plans to focus on himself with his second win:
"I've always wanted to restore a muscle car. I'm going to get a 66 Corvette and fix it up. I can see it now. It's going to be amazing.”
A new version of the $10 Jumbo Bucks ticket launched in January. Lottery representatives say that Buinicky is the first to win the top prize of $750,000 while seven other top prizes remain to be won.
Considering Buinicky’s monster wins, it won’t be surprising to see some extra syndicates set up in North Carolina over the next couple of weeks. A syndicate is made up of a certain number of players, who band together and buy tickets each week, agreeing to share the jackpot if one of them win.
While there is never a sure fire way of winning a jackpot (especially when it comes to the astronomical odds found playing the US's major draws), avid lottery players can certainly shorten up the odds they are facing by incorporating syndicate play as a part of their long term lottery strategy moving forward.
While Buinicky managed the impossible through traditional scratch card means, there’s nothing to say that the next fortunate soul to take home two unbelievable jackpots in less than two months won’t come from one of the best online lottery sites, where players are increasingly flocking to avail of concierge services that allow them to take part in lotteries outside their home countries.