Joan R. Ginther, known in the press as the “luckiest woman in the world” is indeed lucky.
To earn that title, Ginther won the lottery four times. And she didn’t win any measly $20 and $30 payouts either; she hit multiple million dollar payouts each time.
First, she won $5.4 million; then a decade later, she won $2 million; two years later $3 million; and finally, in the spring of 2008, she hit a $10 million jackpot.
After Ginther’s fourth win, the Associated Press picked up her story, and hundreds of outlets around the world proclaimed her the most fortunate woman alive. But Harper Magazine’s story author, Nathanial Rich thinks Ginther’s luck is a bit suspicious and he has spend seven pages in his article explaining why.
Ginther won all four of her lotteries in Texas; the first in a standard pick-six drawing in 1993. A decade later, she had three wins in two-year intervals by scratch-off tickets all bought at the same mini-mart, in the same town of Bishop, Texas, where she grew up. Now the twist here is that Ginther has not even lived in Bishop for decades. She lives in… Vegas! Yes.
Would anyone be surprised if I now told you that Ginther also happens to be a former math professor with a Ph. D. from Stanford University who just happened to specialize in statistics.
After Ginther figured out the algorithm, if she figured it out, it wouldn’t be too difficult to then determine where the tickets would be shipped, as the shipping schedule is apparently fixed, and there were a few sources she could have found it out from. Of course, she’d then have to make sure no one else bought a ticket except for her, and that would require some cooperation with the winning store’s owner.
Ginther’s wins could have been sheer luck after all. Her one in eighteen septillion odds would have increased exponentially the more she played, and perhaps she played, well, all the time. He also mentions other multiple winners, though none have won as often as Ginther.
The residents of Bishop, Texas seem to believe God was behind it all.
Nevertheless, we still congratulate her on these multiple wins, whatever be the reason, luck or some foul play, We don’t know. And we guess we will never know. But for now, let’s just settle on being happy for her!