Luckiest Lottery Player Ever, Joan Ginther: Her Winning Secret — Hint, It’s Simple But Expensive

Joan Ginther, according to a new report, is the luckiest lottery player ever — the only lottery player researchers could find who has legitimately won prizes of at least $2 million more than twice. In fact, Ginther won jackpots of $2 million or more not just three times, but four.

According to the latest investigation of the Joan Ginther story, conducted by the Philadelphia Inquirer-owned online site and published Tuesday on the web, the Las Vegas-based, Stanford University educated Ph.D., now 67 years old, won a $5.4 million Texas Lotto jackpot in 1993. Then in 2006, 2008, and 2010 she won prizes on three scratch-off tickets of $2 million, $3 million and $10 million, respectively.

Those aren’t even her only lottery wins. All told, Ginther won 28 separate lottery payouts. A friend of Ginther’s named Anna Morales won another 24 lesser-valued lottery prizes. journalist Peter Mucha reports that Ginther’s total lottery payouts top not only other multiple lottery winners, of whom there are surprisingly many, but she did even better than known lottery cheaters who beat the system through various illegal schemes.

How does Gunther do it?

Mucha believes he has her secret figured out. There’s no way to confirm his theories directly, because Ginther isn’t talking. She refuses interviews and is rarely photographed. The above photograph was identified as Ginther in the Daily Mail newspaper in 2011, but that identification has not been confirmed. In a 1969 college yearbook photo, Ginther looked like this:

Joan Ginther lottery winner vcollege yearbook

The Texas Lottery Commission never looked into how Ginther could strike it so rich. The only previous investigation was conducted by writer Nathan Rich, for Harper’s Magazine in 2011, who looked into three possibilities:

•That Ginther somehow cheated.

•That she employed some sort of incredibly sophisticated mathematical formula.

•Or,that Joan Ginther was exactly what she seemed on the surface, the luckiest lottery player on Earth.

But Mucha says there is a fourth possibility — one that is deceptively, incredibly simple. There have been numerous multiple lottery winners, such as Richard Lustig who sells a book offering his “system,” for lottery players, but even those who use complicated math techniques share one lottery secret in common, the same secret that Mucha says accounts — at least in part — for the spectacular lottery success of Joan Ginther.

They all buy a mind-boggling number of lottery tickets.

Based on statistical analysis and data obtained through requests made under open government laws, Mucha concludes that Ginther purchased approximately 80,000 lottery tickets. Including tickets bought by her friend Morales, Ginter appears to have spent as much as $3.3 million on at least 100,000 scratch-off lottery tickets.

If that amount seems insane, remember that Ginther already had a big lottery win in 1993 — that paid her $270,000 per year in annual checks. To a large extent, she was gambling with “found” money.

The IRS allows lottery losses to be written off on tax forms against lottery winnings. Mucha calculates that the $3.3 million Gimther apparently spent on lottery tickets may have actually cost her only about $1 million, due to this generous subsidy from Uncle Sam — and the fact that many of her tickets would have won small prizes of a few bucks, which Ginther likely pumped back into the purchase of more tickets.

According to, a high rate of return on Texas scratch-off lottery tickets also factored into Ginther’s incredible run of good fortune.

To read the entire Peter Mucha investigation of the extraordinary lottery career of Joan Ginther, “Lottery Legend,” visit