One South Carolina man had a very lucky July, winning two massive lottery prizes in the span of just two weeks.
According to CNN, the unnamed man won his first lotto prize July 16, collecting an impressive $40,000. The ticket, which was bought at a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Murphy Gas Station, was reportedly a Mega Millions Quick Pick.
A mere 11 days later, he did it again and yielded even better results. Upon buying a ticket for the same lottery from the same gas station on July 27, the man won a whopping $3 million prize.
As reported in a South Carolina Education Lottery press release, the man often “drops by the store to fill up his car and play the Lottery” after shopping at the Walmart located nearby. Apparently, his good fortune on July 16 is part of what prompted him to buy the second ticket on July 27.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he told lottery officials. “My family was shocked when I broke the news.”
“I asked the kids, ‘What are the odds of this happening?'” he added.
In both cases, the man was just one number away from winning the jackpot, though he doesn’t appear to be dwelling on the missed opportunity.
According to the South Carolina Education Lottery, the man had a 1 in 931,001 chance of winning his initial $40,000 prize. For $3 million, meanwhile, the odds of winning are even slimmer, at about 1 in 13 million.
The man wasn’t the only beneficiary of the winnings. The Murphy USA station that sold him the tickets received commissions of $400 and $30,000 for each respective win.
Remarkably, winning the lottery once does not affect one’s odds of winning it again. This is because, as Harvard statistics professor Dr. Mark Glickman explained to CNBC in 2019, all lotteries are independent of one another.
“If someone already wins the lottery, then the chance that the person wins the lottery a second time will be exactly the same as the probability they win the lottery if they had not previously won the lottery before,” he said. “In other words, having previously won the lottery does not improve or make less likely the chance of winning the lottery in the future.”
On Thursday, an Australian man who has been working as a cleaner ever since he lost his job amid the covid-19 pandemic won $80 million AUD ($59 million USD) in a Powerball lottery, making him the third largest lotto winner in Australia’s history. “There’s so much we will be able to do with this prize,” said the winner. “It will change so many people’s lives.”