"Are you sure? Are you sure?!" -- M., a 37-year-old father from Iraq, kept repeating the question after receiving a phone call with the news that he had won the $6.4 million jackpot in a lottery in the United States in late 2015. Shortly afterwards he hopped on a plane from Baghdad to collect his prize.
“The man from Baghdad showed up unannounced in a state office building in Salem, Oregon, with a piece of paper in his hand that said he was worth $6.4 million.
He politely asked that his name be kept quiet, then told state officials that he had set up a local bank account into which they should deposit money annually. And then he went away, richer and more mysterious than when he arrived,” reported the New York Times.
The Iraqi jackpot winner wasn’t the only foreign winner of a US lottery
In October 2016, a man in Australia won $1 million in the US Powerball after matching all five main numbers. In February 2016, P. from Quebec, Canada, also won $1 million (when the US Powerball jackpot was $1.6 billion). A 73-year-old pensioner from El Salvador bought a US Powerball ticket with random numbers on 13 January 2016 and won $1 million. The list goes on and on: Latvians, Russians, Brits... All of them have won big in lotteries outside their country of origin.
What do all those lottery winners have in common?
None of the above winners had physically flown to the US to buy their winning lottery ticket, but they all won multimillion dollar prizes. Each one of them had bought tickets through theLotter.com, an online company with offices in dozens of countries around the world.
theLotter.com offers clients from all corners of the globe real paper tickets for a range of lotteries from Europe and America, including Powerball in the United States and EuroMillions in France — as well as “100% commission-free wins.”
Do Finns play as well?
You would be hard-pressed to find anyone in Finland saying no to this week’s $282 million jackpot.
Up until a few decades ago, most Europeans would not even have heard of the sums of money available in official American lotteries, but in this day and age news about winners spreads quickly and more and more people find their way online as the desire to partake increases – especially in Nordic countries.
Austin Weaver, Marketing spokesperson for theLotter in London, explained: “Finns are in love – we’ve got many thousands of fans in Finland now who are regularly participating in draws at theLotter. Our couriers in the US go out to buy the paper tickets and scan them. It’s only a matter of time before we see a Finnish winner – I am sure of it!”