Many people dream of striking it big one day without hard work, and this can seem like a miracle. But when luck comes down to give someone a kiss, dreams become a reality. Sometimes luck even comes in a downpour.

This proves to be true for a list of lucky individuals we found on Stefan’s List. These people won the lottery and managed to avoid the reversal of good fortune to lead a peaceful life. Others were not so lucky, with many lottery winners going broke or meeting their end within a year.

A game of chance, the lottery can be traced to the ancient times where the property could be distributed by lot and sometimes even slaves, as in the case of Saturnalian feasts and other entertainments headed by a few Roman emperors. In the modern age, the lottery is done through the purchase of lottery tickets.

The winner is drawn from a pool composed of the sold tickets. Usually, it consists of all or most of the possible combinations of numbers used on the tickets.

Throughout its storied history, many bettors have come out triumphant and took home the prize, but only a few were able to enjoy their winnings.

Nigel Willetts Traveled the World

A pub landlord, Nigel Willetts defied 13,000,000-to-one odds when he hit the jackpot on the Euro Lottery draw on what is considered to be an unlucky day, Friday the 13th.

Willetts celebrated with his regulars at the Bridgend Inn for eight long hours. After paying the mortgage to buy the Inn outright, the lucky lotto winner traveled the world with his family, vacationing in Florida, Mexico, and Dubai.

Oksana Zaharov Made a Wise Choice

When Oksana Zaharov was shopping in Manhattan, she never thought she would be a millionaire a few days later when she was accidentally handed a $10 “Set for Life” ticket. Initially thinking it was fake, she used the ticket as a bookmark before coming to a decision to scratch it, ending up winning $5 million from a ticket given to her by mistake.

Zaharov chose to get paid over the course of 20 years with $260,000 payment distributed over the course of 19 payments. While a vacation to the Bahamas is planned, Zaharov underlines the importance of setting up a fund for her children meant for their loan-free college education.

It is a move that sets her apart from other lotto winners who squandered their winnings in a short period of time.

Marvin and Mae Acosta Settled for a Peaceful Life

Dubbed as the Powerball couple, California couple Marvin and Mae Acosta won $327.8 million in 2016. For six months, they laid low while building a team of lawyers and financial advisors in preparation for claiming their prize. The couple decided to commit most of their winnings to trust and their chosen charities. They now live a quiet and private life.

There are a lot more lottery stories that pepper the world today, with many of them acquiring the terrible curse of lotto winners. Check out the infographic below and get to know more lottery winners, including their triumphs and failures.

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