# Woman’s Unbelievable String of Luck: Wins Multimillion-Dollar Lottery Four Times

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Maybe the odds of winning the lottery would be a lot better if Joan Ginther would stop buying all the good tickets. By now you may have heard of the Las Vegas resident, who you probably want sitting next to you when an asteroid, slungshot by aliens, is aimed at your plane. She recently cashed in a winning \$10 million scratch-off ticket, making the lucky woman a four-time lottery winner.

That’s right, four times. And while she now lives in Las Vegas thereabouts, the multi-millionaire prefers her to buy her tickets in her home state of Texas. The state, like many others, is on track to having one of its best lottery years ever during tough economic times…and that might be a bad thing. First, a look at Ginther’s lottery loot so far, and the odds:

•1993: \$5.4 million (paid in yearly installments). Odds: 1 in 15.8 million
•2006: \$2 million (lump-sum payoff). Odds: 1 in 1,028,338.
•2008: \$3 million (lump-sum payoff). Odds: 1 in 909,000.
•2010: \$10 million (lump-sum payoff). Odds: 1 in 1,200,000.

What are the odds?

Amazingly, she’s not the only winner who has defied long odds: A Canadian man has scored five jackpots in five years, although he had to sue to get the last-and biggest-prize of \$17 million in 2009.

What are the total odds for four multi-million-dollar payoffs? Michael Starbird, a University of Texas at Austin math professor who has written a book on coincidence and other mathematical quirks, calculates the odds of a four-time winner to come up with this answer: “It’s pretty astronomical…She should quit, incidentally.”

However, he did say the odds of a four-time win was less likely than being hit by lightning, but that a would-be lottery player standing in line for tickets next to her shouldn’t feel tempted to nudge her out of the way. “Probabilities don’t have any memory. She’s no more likely to win the lottery (again) than anybody else. She has exactly the same likelihood as you or I have.”

Sharing the wealth?

The Las Vegas woman has spread her luck: Two winning tickets, including the latest whopper, came from Times Market in Bishop, Texas – and retailers get a \$10,000 bonus for some big wins (like the last one). Store owner Sun Bae sold her two winning scratch-offs, which makes Sun the person you want next to you when you’re holding a metal umbrella during a lightning storm while standing atop the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajokull.

The store’s not the only beneficiary of a winning ticket: According to Texas Lottery spokesperson Bobby Heith, the Lone Star State gets a 25% upfront cut, and lottery proceeds overall go towards education. That news might cheer up Texas, which faces an \$18 billion deficit-or, it might just add fuel to the controversial proposal to expand gambling as a budget fix.

{Yahoo Buzz/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}