Whenever lotto winners are polled or asked about their top three purchases after claiming their jackpots, their answers are nearly always the same: a new house, a new car and a family holiday, usually in that order.

So when recent US lotto winner, Maryann Daino, was asked what her first purchase with her lottery jackpot would be, her response "a new home" came as no surprise. What did come as a surprise was that a new home would be her only purchase - because as a survivor of New York City's recent Superstorm Sandy, a catastrophe that had robbed her and her life partner of their homes and possessions, a roof over her head and a place to call her own was dream she had all but given up on.

Lottery jackpot helps to rebuild lives

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy swept through 24 US states, destroying thousands of homes, leaving millions without power, and wreaking havoc to the tune of billions of dollars in damages. The deadliest hurricane since Katrina in 2005, Sandy was relentless, hitting the states of New York and New Jersey the hardest, leaving thousands of residents homeless and destitute - including Dennis Klaus and Maryann Daino.

After losing their homes in Brooklyn and Staten Island respectively, Dennis and Maryann, who were strangers at the time, moved with many other homeless New Yorkers to the Faith Church village in Connecticut, in December 2012. It was here that Dennis and Maryann connected, helping each other through the worst point in their lives and renewing and strengthening their faith.

lottery winners dennis klaus and maryann daino

Thanks to the generosity of the New Faith Church, Dennis and Maryann have since been able to carve out a new life for themselves, first living in trailers that were donated to them, and more recently in a trailer that the pair leased themselves.

Having had their lives changed so drastically, the pair were unprepared for a second momentous event - this time in the form of good fortune and a winning lottery ticket! After buying a lotto ticket six months previously, Maryann finally checked her numbers at the self-service machine, and was surprised to find a "Congratulations" message flashing back at her. When she double-checked her lotto numbers with the cashier, she was blown away - as her one lottery ticket was now worth a huge $255,555!

She immediately rushed home to share the good news with Dennis, who was incredulous. “I said, ‘get out of here, won what?'” he says. “She said, ‘we got a winning ticket.’ I said, ‘what do you mean?’”

“He’s going, ‘no, you’re kidding, you’re kidding, really? You’re kidding. Really?'” says Maryann. “I said, ‘yes Dennis, this is our home.’”

After taxes, the couple's lotto windfall will be worth a substantial $180,000 - and every penny of it is going towards a new home.

“We don’t consider it money. We consider it a home. It’s a home,” says Dennis. “It’s not to be spent. It’s where we’re going to live together and start a new life.”

“You have to keep the faith because there is life afterwards and there’s a wonderful life waiting,” reiterates Maryann. We couldn't agree more!

Buy your lottery tickets online with

If you're also waiting for your own life-changing moment, just like Maryann and Dennis, then start making it happen today with a lottery ticket from The Powerball and UK National Lottery draws are taking place tonight, and if you want to be in with a chance to win either lotto, you're going to need to purchase your lottery tickets in time.

Simply choose your lucky numbers with, buy your lottery tickets online, and your fortunes could also soon be changing. A new life is only a few numbers away, so make sure you reach for the stars with, and make your play for a brighter future!


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