In May 2013, Gloria McKenzie made history in the US by becoming the largest single winner of the Powerball national lottery. An 84 year old grandmother living in Florida, McKenzie managed to beat the odds of 1 in 175 million to win the jackpot of a staggering $590 million.
McKenzie went on to create and launch the Gloria C. McKenzie Foundation, a family-based philanthropic organisation dedicated to awarding grants and supporting economic development.
It’s possible that Elmer Sherwin might go down in history as the luckiest slot’s player ever. Not because he won the progressive Megabucks jackpot of $4.6 million at the Mirage casino in Las Vegas in 1989, but because he won it again sixteen years later. This time it was at the Cannery casino in Vegas, and this time he took home a whopping $21 million! Talk about luck.
In 2012, young Conor Murphy became the talk of the UK when he managed to win an incredible wager at the Cheltenham Festival, a world-renowned horse racing meeting.
Murphy won £1 million on a five horse accumulator, but what made this so remarkable is that he had placed the bet three months earlier, on a mere whim. In horse racing, accumulators are, to put it lightly, particularly tricky to win. Winning on a bet placed three months earlier is practically unheard of. What’s more, the bookies controversially denied him what could have amounted to £3 million!
The formerly humble stable lad, nonetheless, instantly became an over-night sensation, and has now gone on to become a trainer in the US.
British-born Ashley Revell was once a desperate man on his last legs. In 2004, having sold and cashed in every item and policy that he owned, including selling his clothes, Revell went to Las Vegas, and in a move that would otherwise be labelled as sheer insanity, he placed it all on a single wager in roulette.
Then, amidst crowds of amazed onlookers at the Plaza Hotel & Casino, Revell instantly doubled his money to $270,600. This is by no means a particularly large sum in comparison with the other wins mentioned here. Nor is it a very good example of sensible bankroll management, or common sense for that matter. Nonetheless, Revell managed to not only save himself from utter financial ruin but went on to become somewhat of a celebrity, as well the inspiration for several television pieces.
Colin and Chris Weir
In July 2011, Colin and Chris Weir won the biggest ever Euromillions lottery jackpot at the time, amounting to a spectacular £161.6 million.
The couple from Largs, North Ayrshire, in Scotland, didn’t just splash out their fortune on themselves, however. They have since bought their family and friends various expensive gifts, such as luxury cars, and have also made a number of very charitable donations. In 2015, they established the Weir Foundation, with £5 million in endowments, and have also made sizeable donations to their favourite football club, Partick Thistle.
Sadly, Collin Weir passed away in December 2019, at the age of 71.