By The Associated Press - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 0 Comments
DES MOINES, Iowa – Insurance agent Joe Williams is trying, like so many others,…
DES MOINES, Iowa – Insurance agent Joe Williams is trying, like so many others, to get lucky with Powerball.
Williams, of Middleton, Wis., won $500 several years ago and now wants to score a little higher. He’ll have his chance Wednesday with the latest drawing for the Powerball jackpot. It’s ballooned to an estimated $360 million, with a cash value of $229.2 million, making it the third largest Powerball jackpot and the seventh largest jackpot ever.
Williams doesn’t necessarily spend more when the prize is high. But his $4 investment in the quick-pick option means he does spend.
“I know rationally it makes no sense,” he said. “But at the same time, without a ticket, I have zero chance.”
By The Associated Press - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 3:03 PM - 0 Comments
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa investigators have subpoenaed phone and email records in an…
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa investigators have subpoenaed phone and email records in an attempt to unravel the mystery behind a winning $14.3 million lottery ticket that was withdrawn after the winner refused to be identified, the agent overseeing the wide-ranging inquiry told The Associated Press.
Patrick Townsend, special-agent-in-charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said investigators remain unable to identify the person who bought the Hot Lotto ticket in December 2010 at a Des Moines gas station. The purchase set in motion a bizarre series of events that has fascinated Iowans and generated worldwide attention.
A New York lawyer claiming to represent the winning trust waited until minutes before the one-year deadline to claim the prize on Dec. 29, 2011, then withdrew the claim weeks later rather than explain how he wound up with the ticket.
By Alex Ballingall - Friday, March 30, 2012 at 10:24 AM - 0 Comments
What would you do with US$540 million?
Some astronomically lucky person may have to…
What would you do with US$540 million?
Some astronomically lucky person may have to actually ponder that question today as the U.S. Mega Millions jackpot draw is called. It’s the largest sum ever put up in a lottery, and as the Toronto Star is reporting, Canadians are also able to take a crack at it.
“We don’t discriminate,” Mary Cassani, the administrative services manager at Vermont Lottery, one of 44 states that offer Mega Millions tickets, told the newspaper. “People, they’ll email us and want to know, ‘Can Canadians win the lottery?’ Absolutely.”
According to the Boston Herald, an estimated 1.2 billion tickets have already been sold. But before you go scrambling for your wallet, take a look at your odds of winning. If you buy one ticket, your odds of winning are 1 in 176 million. Based on U.S. averages, you’re about 8,000 times more likely to be murdered, and 50 times more likely to be struck by lightning, the Associated Press reports.
But still, just imagine. . .
By Cathy Gulli - Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 2 Comments
Newsmakers Violet and Allen Large hit the jackpot and gave most of it away
One Sunday morning in mid-July, while tucked inside their 147-year-old white farmhouse in Lower Truro, N.S., Allen Large asked his wife, Violet, “Did you check the tickets from last night?”
This exchange had become a ritual for the couple, who’ve been together for 46 years, and have played the lottery—twice a week, every week—for about as long. Violet hadn’t, so she dialled into the Lotto 6/49 hotline and listened. After a few seconds, she said out loud, “Well, we got $10,” because the first three numbers matched. After a few more seconds, the rest of the numbers matched too.
So Violet, 78, did the only thing she could think of next: she hung up. And she called back. Again and again. “Oh, I checked those numbers so many times,” Violet says. Then she called Allen from out of the kitchen, and handed him the phone receiver. Allen, 75, listened, he looked at his wife, and nodded: “Yeah, that’s the right numbers.”
By Jason Kirby - Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 12:10 PM - 10 Comments
Forget hollowing out, our firms are the new corporate marauders
As the loonie surged last month, Viterra, a Regina-based grain handler, did what many Canadians have done lately. It went shopping south of the border. In a $240-million deal, the company scooped up Dakota Growers, America’s third-largest pasta producer. But if the acquisition was seen as yet another example of Canada flexing its newly acquired corporate muscle in the world, to some North Dakotans it was nothing short of a travesty. “It’s like recognizing a bad dream becoming reality,” says Bill Patrie, who helped start Dakota Growers as a farmers’ co-op in the early 1990s. Now he worries the pasta plant, which employees about 300 workers, may face cuts, or that cheap wheat will be shipped in from Canada instead. “The starting point was to add value to durum by the people who grew it. Now under Canadian ownership the objective will just be to buy the cheapest durum possible.”
For the last decade, Canadians railed against rapacious foreigners as they seized our natural resources and grabbed up our corporate head offices. The hollowing out of Canada became a national preoccupation as famous names like Molson, Four Seasons, Hudson’s Bay Company and Alcan fell under foreign control. Now, with the strong dollar and Canada’s relatively sound economy, a remarkable shift is under way. Suddenly, Canadians seem to be the ones primed to do all of the buying. “As industries globalize you’re eventually either a buyer or a seller, and for a decade Canada has, by and large, been a seller,” says Ken Smith, a partner at strategic consulting firm Secor Group. “We’ve never been in a better position to move over to the buy side. There are opportunities not just in the U.S. but in Europe and everywhere where the financial crisis has done some damage.”
By Philippe Gohier - Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
The season’s golden girls, bad boys, and red-carpet rebels
Batman and Superman recently went toe to toe and settled the age-old debate over superhero supremacy. The battle, though, was recorded only in the chequebooks of wealthy collectors. Late last month, a copy of Action Comics No. 1, the first to feature Superman, was sold for a record US$1 million in a private sale in New York City. Three days later, the first comic featuring Batman hit the auction block in Dallas, and sold for US$1,075,500.
Lawmakers agree Aniston played a major role in getting California’s new paparazzi law approved. The law calls for fines of up to US$50,000 against media outlets that buy and publish “unlawfully obtained” photos. Aniston told legislators she’d had as many as 30 photographers charge her on the sidewalk and been followed through L.A. streets at night in SUVs. Politicians agreed: there’s something truly deranged about having that much of an interest in Jennifer Aniston.
After 55 years in show business, Canadian actor Christopher Plummer finally had a reason to show up at the Oscars this year when he was nominated for his role in The Last Station. Plummer didn’t win—the award went to Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds—but one suspects he won’t mind having to find something else to do next Oscar night if he’s not nominated again. “It’s a flesh-peddling business,” he said, prior to the show. “And I don’t always like the feeling on the red carpet.”
By Philippe Gohier - Monday, October 19, 2009 at 6:39 PM - 12 Comments
As I was watching my beloved Habs drop yet another game last Thursday—seriously guys,…
As I was watching my beloved Habs drop yet another game last Thursday—seriously guys, Colorado?—the same Loto-Québec commercial kept coming on every time there was a break in the game. There wasn’t anything inherently interesting about it except for one of its stars: Jacques Demers. Pardon me, make that Senator Jacques Demers.
Apparently, Demers’s gigs at RDS, the Senate, and the car delearship just aren’t paying the wealthy former coach’s bills anymore. Besides, God forbid he be asked to sacrifice a paycheque or two in exchange for the six-figure salary he’ll be earning in the Senate.
Though I think highly of many individual senators, I’m not enamoured with the Senate as an institution. Stephen Harper, on the other hand, evidently loathes everything about it. What else could possibly explain the nomination of a barely-literate former hockey coach-cum-analyst with no discernible knowledge of (or interest in) politics to the Senate? And what else could justify telling him he shouldn’t even bother pretending to take the job seriously and turn down two-bit opportunities to hawk lotto tickets and used cars? Seriously, I’d love to know.
UPDATE: A Liberal reader emailed to note that Demers had an especially hard time making up his mind when the issue of VLTs, which add more than a $1 billion to Loto-Québéc’s bottom line, came up in the Senate earlier this month. Demers has—oddly enough, given his role as Loto-Québec pitchman—expressed some interest in tackling problem gambling, most recently on Tout le monde en parle. Still, he ended up abstaining from a vote on a Liberal-supported bill that would have restricted where the terminals can pop up after he was gently reminded by fellow Tories his party wasn’t in favour of it. “Of course,” he told CP by way of explanation, “I want to be a team player for the Conservatives.”