Double Winners: Lottery players who won the jackpot twice

These lottery players won the jackpot twice.

Double Winners: Lottery players who won the jackpot twice
New York Lottery double jackpot winner Wayne Murray. Photograph credit to the New York Lottery.

You're more likely to be struck by lightning, eaten by a shark, or become an astronaut than you are to win the lottery.

Every player understands the incredibly long odds they face when it comes to winning a jackpot. Even getting a free ticket isn't easy, much less a six- or seven-figure award.

That’s why it's even more incredible when the same player wins a big prize twice. These are the stories of people who have defied the odds, achieved the impossible, and won the lottery more than once.

Double dipper

Not satisfied with winning a million-dollar jackpot, North Carolina resident Pharris Frank decided to press his luck and double his fortune.

Frank's good luck started in July 2021 when he won $1 million on a $25 scratch-off game that he used to pay for his dream wedding.

Then, just under two years after his first big win, he purchased a $2,000,000 Diamond Dazzler scratch-off game at Handy House in Morehead City, North Carolina, for $20.

To win the grand prize, Frank had to match his 20 numbers to the eight winning numbers and find the 20X multiplier symbol.

“It's crazy because the day before I won, my buddy was asking me how it felt to win $1 million, and I told him that I was going to double it,” he told the North Carolina Education Lottery. “I didn't know if I was dreaming or not. I was just in shock for a while.”

Frank opted to take the lump sum payout, which added up to $855,006 in cash after taxes. After using his first win to pay for a wedding, he said he was going to use his second to pay for a dream vacation with his wife.

$10 million x 2

Winning $10 million on a scratcher ticket would be a life highlight for most people. However, for New York resident Wayne Murray, winning one massive jackpot was just the start of his hot streak.

His fantastic run of luck started when he spent $30 to purchase a Black Titanium scratch-off game in August 2023 and won $10,000,000.

Winning required him to match one of his 25 numbers to one of the 10 winning numbers to take home the corresponding prize. To get the jackpot, Murray then had to find the 50X multiplier symbol, which multiplied his win fifty times.

While most people would be satisfied with one big win, Murray decided to press his luck and try again. Sixteen months later, his perseverance paid off when he won $10 million again with a 200X scratcher, which has almost the exact same rules as Black Titanium, except this time he had to find the 200X symbol to multiply his prize two hundred times.

Onias Aslam, a clerk at the store where Murray bought his tickets, said:

That person spends a lot of money on the tickets as well. If anybody deserves to win, in my opinion, it's that guy.

According to a neighbor, despite his massive windfall, the man still lives in the same house and shows no signs of his newfound wealth.

She told Business Insider:

That's his house and will always be his house even if he won the lottery a third time. He took care of his mother and his great-aunt in that house until they both passed away. He's all about family and his home and his neighborhood.

Not only did he win two 10 million dollar prizes in less than a year, but he bought both scratchers at the same Brooklyn store. After his second win, the lines were long at the H & A Gas and Convenience store as dozens of lottery players tried to find some of the same magic that turned Murray into a multi-winner and multi-millionaire.

Lucky day

November 20, 2002, is a date that Angelo and Maria Gallina of Belmont, California, will never forget.

While Wayne Murray had to wait over a year to collect his two jackpots, the married couple only had to wait a few hours for their double win.

The celebration started when Angelo bought a ticket to play the draw game Fantasy 5 and won the $126,000 jackpot. But things got really crazy when he checked the numbers for that day's SuperLotto Plus and saw that he had also won that drawing's $17 million jackpot.

Angelo said that he's been buying $20 worth of lottery tickets every week since 1985 and that the secret to his success is a small gadget full of numbered balls that he uses to fill out his ticket for each week's drawing.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Cal State University Hayward statistics professor Mike Orkin said that the odds of winning both lotteries on the same day were approximately one in 23 trillion.

Mega millionaire

Marco Accardo of West Hempstead, New York, must have thought he was seeing double when he looked at his two tickets for the November 11, 2022 Mega Millions drawing.

Accardo bought two tickets for the game, and they both won million-dollar prizes. He bought the tickets at the same time and put the same winning numbers on both tickets: 5, 9, 15, 16, and 17. He cashed in both tickets just before the deadline, opting for the immediate cash payout, which totaled up to $1.3 million after taxes.

While guessing the first five numbers was incredibly lucky, he just missed out on the $87 million jackpot by failing to pick the correct Mega Ball number, which was 25.

On safari

Jennifer Minton of Gloucester, Virginia, thought she was having a good month when she won $50,000 playing the online lottery game Safari Quest.

Not satisfied with one big win, she decided to play the game again and keep pushing her luck. While sitting around a campfire, she saw that the game's $912,936 jackpot had reset. She told People magazine that she remembers having the thought:

Dang, somebody just hit. They are so lucky.

It took her another moment to realize that the jackpot was now in her prize box, and she had just won big.

Safari Quest is a digital game available through the Virginia State Lottery's app. Players need to match symbols on a three-by-five grid to win. Matching three bonus symbols gives players a chance to play the bonus wheel, where they can win a progressive jackpot. The game costs between twenty cents and $50 to play.

Double trouble in Delaware

How do you celebrate winning a scratch-off jackpot? For one woman in Delaware, the answer is to win another.

This big winner, who chose to remain anonymous, picked up her first prize when she paid twenty dollars for a 100K Ultimate Cash scratch-off ticket and uncovered the $100,000 jackpot. Her odds of winning were 1 in 120,000.

Thrilled with her win, she headed down to the lottery headquarters to cash in her ticket.

On the way home from collecting her winnings, she decided to celebrate by stopping at a Tiger Mart in Dover, Delaware, and picking up three $30 Serious Money tickets. The game's odds of 1 in 150,000 were no match for her luck, and she scratched her way to another $300,000 win.

The woman said:

My best friend was the first person I told about winning the $100,000 top prize, and she came with me to claim it. When I scratched the $300,000 winning SERIOUS MONEY ticket later in the day, we just sat there in disbelief. It was absolute insanity.

While she's not the first person to win the lottery twice, she may be the first one who's had to visit the lottery office twice on the same day to collect her prizes.

Mega luck

If you want to win the lottery twice, Mega Millions might be the game for you. While Marcus Accardo scored two prizes in the same drawing, a man in South Carolina took just under two weeks to collect two big prizes from the multi-state draw game.

He started his run of luck with a modest $40,000 score when he bought a winning Mega Millions Quick Pick from a Murphy Gas Station in Myrtle Beach on July 11.

He then decided to keep pushing his luck at the same gas station and picked up another Mega Millions Quick Pick from the same gas station for the July 27 drawing, and this time, he won big. His second ticket cashed in for a cool $3 million.

In both cases, he missed collecting the big jackpot by just one number, but he's not complaining.

The man told state lottery officials:

I couldn't believe it. My family was shocked when I broke the news.

His accomplishment was so rare that it has never occurred in the nineteen-year history of the South Carolina lottery.

A South Carolina Education Lottery spokesperson told Newsweek:

Winning that much money in two separate Mega Millions drawings that close together has never happened before in South Carolina.

And because he bought the tickets from the same retailer, the Murphy gas station collected both bonuses and earned $30,400 for selling the winners.

Triple down

If winning the lottery twice is almost impossible, what does it mean when someone wins it three times?

A man in Maryland known by the nickname “Big Winner” not only won the state's Pick 5 game three times, but he picked the exact same numbers for each drawing.

His good fortune started when he bought two tickets, with the number 48548, for the May 18, 2022, mid-day drawing and hit for a $100,000 prize.

Then, his wife convinced him to keep playing his lucky numbers.

“It hit last year, and it hit again,” he said in a press release from the state lottery office.

My wife said, 'Let's play this number,' and we keep winning with it.

He kept playing the number and hit it again on the April 13, 2023 drawing and won another $50,000, bringing his grand total to $150,000.