ABC News’ Nick Watt, Bill Cunningham, Sam Brooks and Alex Marino report:
An Arizona couple who beat overwhelming odds to win a million-dollar lottery jackpot twice in less than 20 years says it was not luck, but persistence and a healthy dose of superstition that led to their wins.
Diane and Kerry Carmichael have just bagged a million dollars in the Arizona state lottery. The Tempe, Ariz., couple won $2.5 million in 1995.
“The odds of winning twice are in the billions to one,” Kerry Carmichael, 64, told ABC News.
She says that shattering such odds had little to do with gambling, but more with self-belief.
“When we first won, it wasn’t, if we were going to win again, it was when,” Carmichael said. “About two years or so ago, the feeling returned.”
They say they have dropped $200 on lottery tickets every week, adding up to $10,000 every year, since 1984. So, now, they’ve spent about $200,000 on tickets.
“It’s persistence,” Diane Carmichael, 63, told ABC News.
They also mix in a little superstition. They always buy from the same lottery office in Phoenix, and they have their method. Still, the odds of this double win are stratospherically high.
Carmichael says that despite the two huge windfalls, she and her husband still live relatively modest lifestyles.
“We’re just not big spenders,” she said. “We don’t have a big-screen TV. Our cars are nine years and 13 years old, respectively.”
After their first win, the couple asked for their money in $125,000-per-year installments, with the last payment due next year. They said they’re still going to play every week.
“I still think there’s one out there,” she said.