We all dream about changing our lives by winning the lottery, but sometimes these changes can be more dramatic than others. If you have a place to live and enough to eat, winning the lottery means you’ll be able to live more luxuriously. But what if you’re starting with nothing? We’ve rounded up some of the best lottery “rags to riches” stories.
From Homeless Shelter to $500,000 Lottery Winner
Michael Engfors was a 60-year-old construction worker from Aspen, Colorado. He was barely surviving doing occasional construction work and living out of a homeless shelter. Everything changed when he bought a $10 “Eternal Splendor” scratch-off ticket at a local grocery store.
After claiming his winnings, Engfors reportedly planned to buy himself a home and reconnect with his daughter, whom he hadn’t seen for over 20 years.
Homeless Man to Take Care of Family with $200,000 Lottery Win
A homeless man in Greenville, South Carolina, won $200,000 from a scratch-off lottery ticket. While wishing to remain anonymous, the lucky lottery winner did state that the money would be used to care for himself and his family.
The winner said that the big lottery win would, “Put me where I need to be.” After admiring the winning ticket all night, he had his brother drive him to the lottery office to collect his big prize.
Family Who Lost Everything Goes On to Win Big
Mere months after losing her house and all her belongings in a fire, Sarah Ross of Lumby, B.C., scored a $1 million win with Lotto 6/49. The lottery windfall came shortly after the June 2016 fire, enabling the family to bounce back quickly.
Both Ross and her husband have decided to keep their day jobs and are using the lottery funds to try to rebuild what they lost. They’re also hoping to do some traveling.
Wanless Family Use Lottery Money to Save Ranch and Help Community
The Wanless family own a ranch in Todd County, South Dakota—one of the poorest places in the United States. Their business of selling scrap metal was not making them enough money to get by. Even the sign to their ranch was falling apart—a sure “sign” that things were getting bad.
Everything changed when Neal Wanless, 23, picked up a lottery ticket in a small town called (believe it or not!) Winner. The lottery win brought home $88.5 million, which allowed the Wanless family to buy some more land, keep working, and help others who were struggling in their community.
Homeless Recovering Alcoholic Gets Second Chance with Lottery Win
55-year-old Hungarian László Andraschek was down on his luck, but also determined to change his condition. He was a recovering alcoholic, homeless, and severely in debt. That all changed when he used his last pocket change to buy a lottery ticket—and won $2.8 million!
He used his lotto winnings to buy himself and his kids a home and to buy a car for his family. He remains humble, though, and always tries to remember where he came from, claiming that: “I have become rich but I have not become a different person.”
We hope that these incredible rags to riches lottery stories inspire you as much as they inspire us.
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