Check out our top lottery stories of the month, where we give you the best lotto news for the entire month of May!

First up:

A 22-year-old wins the first of many prizes in the Ohio Vaccine Lottery!

A lucky university student in Ohio decided to get the jab and wound up a millionaire overnight. The 22-year-old was on her way to buy a second-hand car when she received the call with the good news.

Initially, she thought that the call was a prank but later learned the truth once her phone and social media started blowing up. The inaugural draw was televised live on air, with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on hand to call and congratulate the lucky recipient.

Although she isn’t exactly sure what she’ll do with the money, the Ohio denizen knows she wants to put some of it towards a car, with the latter likely going towards investments for the future. She is currently working full time for General Electric and studying for a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.

This prize is the first in a 5 jackpot giveaway. Each lucky winner will receive $1M US dollars (£700,000). The ‘Vax-a-Million’ Lottery scheme was created to incentivise residents to receive their Coronavirus inoculations and is the first of many vaccination incentive programs across the United States, Asia and Europe.

The initiative is also giving away 5 university scholarship programs to those under the age of 18. One lucky 14-year-old was the first recipient to receive his scholarship on Wednesday.

Mega Millions $515M jackpot ticket sold in Pennslyvania

The ninth biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever has been won by a single ticketholder in Pennslyvania. It’s the largest jackpot ever won during the month of May.

This was the third Mega Millions jackpot won in 2021, following a $1 billion prize collected by a Syndicate in Michigan on 22nd January 2021 and a $96 million prize won in New York on 16th February 2021.

All states require large winners to come forward publicly, with the exception of the state of Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina.

Phone company British Telecom (BT) joins the growing race for UK National Lottery Licence

UK telecommunications operator British Telecom (BT) has announced plans to collaborate with Italian Lottery operator Sisal Group and children’s charity group Barnados in the upcoming bidding war over the future ownership of the UK National Lottery.

The operating licence, which is currently owned by UK operator Camelot, is set to expire in 2023, creating fierce competition for one of the most profitable government contracts currently on the market.

Canadian owned company Camelot has operated the licence for over 25 years since its first acquisition in 1994.

Other participants in line for the National Lottery licence include Indian lottery operator Sugal & Damani, Health Lottery operator Northern & Shell, and European Lottery owner Sazka, who currently operate and run 13 lotteries in the EU, including the EuroMillions lotto in Austria. Sazka has currently teamed up with former Sainsbury CEO Justin King and Lastminute(dot)com founder and CEO Brent Hoberman to advise on National Lottery ownership. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson was also in the running to be the UK Lottery Operator until he was forced to withdraw his bid in order to focus on his company due to impacts derived from the pandemic.

Camelot has been gripped by various scandals throughout the past year, with Sisal Group fanning the flames over the lottery age raise debacle that raged through parliament last year.

But Sisal is not without some controversy of its own after CEO Francesco Durante expressed his interest in changing the lottery model to a purely digital market. This news led to public outcry from supermarkets chains, convenience stores and independent grocers alike.

Nearly half of convenience retailers (44%) say the National Lottery is one of the most important drivers in foot traffic, with most saying that patrons will “pop in” for a lottery ticket or scratchcard and also end up buying added cupboard staple items such as bread and sugar, or impulse buys such as ice cream or snack food. The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) have argued that removing retail lottery tickets will deter customers from frequenting local businesses and may cut off a large percentage of patrons from accessing the lottery altogether.

Teenage girls charged over Lottery Scam and possession of firearms

Two teenagers were arrested in western Jamaica in connection with an overseas lottery scam and possession of various arms after a police raid over the weekend. The girls, aged 18 and 19, were found to be in possession of various identification documents and loaded weaponry.

This is the latest in a line of police raids on lottery scammers living on the west side of the island. The scammers are known to obtain the records of elderly people in both the US and European countries and sweet talk their hard-earned wages from their pockets.

Jamaica’s Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency found in 2015 that in a survey of primary school children living in the area, roughly 50% said they wanted to grow up to be lottery scammers, stating that those who get into the highly illegal practice have nice cars and live in big houses.

UK TV Channel 4 to air documentary about remote Scottish island £3M lottery win

Channel 4 will air an hour-long documentary about the Scottish island that won the lottery on Saturday 5th June at 8pm. The documentary will follow the residents of Berneray and North Uist, who shared a jackpot of £3 million after a postcode lottery win in January of last year, just 2 months before the lockdown.

Two neighbours on Berneray – an island with only 140 residents – scooped £193,055 each when their postcode was announced as the winner of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Meanwhile, 99 other locals also received winnings ranging from £21,425 to £64,275.

A description on the Channel 4 website details “This warm-hearted documentary follows the winners as they come to terms with their windfall, and explores how much it will change their lives, or how little.”.

Aussie wins $9M dollars after psychic predicts jackpot in 2021

A Sydney resident is a brand new millionaire thanks to a psychic’s prediction to expect a lottery winner in the family.

She bought the winning Oz Powerball ticket using the prize from her previous weekly purchase.

She admitted that winning the lottery had been on her mind recently after a psychic told her mother that a family member would win the lottery this year.

“Just yesterday my sister and I were discussing what we’d do if we won the lottery, agreeing that we’d buy each other a new car and pay off each other’s mortgages. I suppose that’s happening now!”

So when her lottery ticket numbers came up the very next day, she knew immediately what she wanted to do with her almost $10 million Powerball prize.

“We will look after the grandparents and my parents and all the siblings. I can help them all!”

California has launched a Vaccine Lottery worth $117M dollars

The Golden State of California has launched a $116.5 million dollar lottery to persuade residents to get the Coronavirus vaccine.

It is the sixth state to announce plans on a state lottery, with Ohio being the first to declare and introduce weekly draws.

California’s plan, under Gov. Gavin Newsom, will see ten new millionaires receiving $1.5 million each, with a further 30 people receiving $50,000. The plan requires that the winner be fully vaccinated in order to be eligible for the draw.

The program also includes free $50 gift cards to the first two million Californians that complete their vaccinations after the lottery launches on 27th May. The winners will be announced starting 4th June through to 15th June for the final jackpot prizes.

So far 70% of California residents have received their first shot, with 55% fully vaccinated under the recommended 2 week waiting period after receiving both shots.

World’s most amazing storeowner gives winning lottery ticket to customer
A woman in Massachusetts is one million dollars richer thank to the honesty and kindness of her local family-run convenience store.

The woman was on a lunch break when she decided to pop in and buy a scratch card. Being short on time, she quickly scratched the numbers and thought the ticket was a dud. She handed it back to the cashier, asking that they throw the ticket away.

Little did she know that the ticket was actually a $1M winner! The store owners son later found the ticket while sorting the trash into paper and plastic. He noticed that the card was not completely scratched off, and then found that the former dud scratch card was actually a big winner.

The store owner called his family for advice, only for them to say that the right thing to do would be to return the card to its rightful owner.

Luckily the son knew the customer as a frequent visitor to the store and was able to give her the good news the next time she popped in.

The store received a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, meaning everyone was a winner that day!

Guam launches “Vax-n-Win” program to any who receive the vaccine

The island’s governor Lourdes Leon Guerrero announced an online lottery that offers weekly prizes, including $10,000 in cash and a free car to anyone eligible to receive the vaccine.

The campaign hopes to have 80% of its residents vaccinated by 21st July, which marks the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the island from occupying Japanese forces.

Guam’s population totals 160,000, of which roughly 83,000 have already gained at least partial immunity. Guam has counted a total of 8,193 cases and 139 deaths since March 2020.

The plan encourages the island nation to reopen after Covid restrictions hampered efforts to regain losses caused in the service industry over curbs on travel over the past 15 months.

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