The odds of winning the lottery just once are already astronomical, but one dad managed to beat the odds twice in less than two years.
Peter Alley of Bar Harbor, Maine won a $500,000 prize from a scratch-off ticket he bought for $20 last month, state lottery officials said last week. The big win was cause enough for celebration for Alley, but it also came only about 18 months after he won another $100,000 from a $5 scratch-off ticket he bought in December 2017.
Alley, who took home a check for $355,000 after the taxes were withheld from his $500,000 jackpot, said he's feeling "a little overwhelmed" by his latest win, according to the Mount Desert Islander newspaper. Alley previously received a total of $70,000 after taxes on his $100,000 prize in 2017.
The odds of winning the $500,000 prize are one in 137,143, according to the Maine State Lottery website, while the odds of winning the $100,000 prize in the Bonanza scratch-off game Alley won two years ago are one in 264,000.
While Alley and other multiple-time lottery winners might seem like they have an inordinate amount of luck on their side, Harvard statistics professor Dr. Mark Glickman has previously told CNBC Make It that previous lottery winners have the exact same odds of winning a future lottery prize as anyone who buys a lottery ticket.
"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," Glickman says.
"In other words, having previously won the lottery does not improve or make less likely the chance of winning the lottery in the future."
After buying his most recent winning ticket, Alley reportedly told his wife and two daughters that he'd won something but did not say how much. When they stopped at a restaurant for lunch, he told his family to order whatever they wanted to eat, his wife finally asked: "How much did you actually win?"
Despite being a two-time lottery winner, Alley has no plans to quit his job as the head custodian at Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor, where he's worked for three decades. "I love this job," he told the Mount Desert Islander.
Alley does plan on using his latest winnings to help him save for retirement, and he even has some nautical plans for the money. "I'm going to buy a little secondhand boat," he told the newspaper.
What's more, this isn't the first time Alley has been in the news, as he was awarded $4,000 and a medal by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission in 2006 after dragging an unconscious man from a burning truck that had collided with a tree and later burst into flames.
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