Chances of Winning the Lottery Twice in a Day: 1 in 44,000,000, But Woman Defies the Odds

The odds of winning the lottery are pretty slim, but the chances of winning twice in a single day seem impossible. For North Carolina resident Kimberly Morris, this improbable event happened on Monday.

Related: How to Play the Lottery, Because the Powerball Jackpot is $300 MIllion and with North Korea You Might as Well  

According to a press release from the North Carolina Education Lottery, Morris bought a Diamond Dazzler scratch-off ticket with a possible $4,000,000 jackpot. She scratched off a $10,000 prize. The ticket was purchased at her local Harris Teeter store in Wake Forest.

GettyImages-504717128 A man buying a Powerball ticket in 2016. Winning has a 1 in 175 million odds. KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images

After collecting her prize money at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh, Morris decided to try her luck again, purchasing yet another Diamond Dazzler ticket that also had a possible $4,000,000 win.

This time, the mother-of-three snagged $1 million.

Morris didn’t anticipate such luck. “I wasn’t really expecting much,” she said in the release. “I just enjoy playing the lottery.”

She called her husband, John Morris, on her way home to share the good news, but he was skeptical.

“She was freaking out on the phone,” he said. “I couldn’t understand her, so I told her to slow down. When I realized what she was saying, I didn’t believe her at first. I had to come home and see it for myself.”

It seems insane that this would happen twice in a day, but statistician Ronald Wasserstein of the American Statistical Association says it’s not that crazy.

“It is very unlikely that an individual will win two large prizes on scratch-off tickets on the same day, however, it’s very likely that it will happen to someone somewhere,” he said.

GettyImages-457439671 Winning the lottery twice is improbable, but statistician says it will happen several times a year. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Wasserstein said it’s difficult to nail down an exact figure as he’d have to know exactly how that particular ticket was sold in North Carolina. However, he estimates the probability of winning $1 million and $10,000 on two tickets from the state’s scratch-off tickets is about 1 in 44,000,000.

Despite its rarity, Wasserstein said it will happen more than once in 2017.

“Since millions of people play the lottery every day, we can actually expect things like this to happen a few times a year somewhere in the U.S.” he said.

So, is there anything you can do to increase the chances of winning big? Yes, according to Richard Lustig, a seven-time lottery winner. He told CBS in 2013 that the secret is in picking your own numbers, and he penned a book about his theory.

However, Wasserstein, the statistician, said the only thing that can increase your chance of winning is to buy more tickets.

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