The Luckiest Man Alive

David Hayes was fortune?s favorite son -- until a night in October 2012.
7:40 | 08/10/13

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for The Luckiest Man Alive
But tonight, we are learning more about the three winning tickets, splitting that $448 million jackpot. Among the winner, that man from minnesota, the office pool from new jersey, 16 workers. And, of course, the winner of the last ticket yet to come forward tonight. But what happens when all that good luck, those sudden riches, suddenly put a target on your back? Can you get a second chance at luck? Watch this. Here's deborah roberts. ♪ Luck be a lady tonight ♪ Reporter: Frank sinatra said it best. We're all in pursuit of her and do some pretty quirky things to get lady luck on our side. Blow out all the candles. Pick up a penny, heads up only, please. Shower the bride with rice. And, of course, we all want to be lucky in love. But when it comes to luck at the card table, david hayes has it, hands down. By day, he's a jewelry maker in columbus, ohio, earning a modest salary. By night -- he's fortune's favorite son. His game? Blackjack. His winning percentage, freakishly good. You not only win, but you seem to win big. I do. Reporter: So, this is not $100, 200 gz. No, we're taking five, six figures, generally, when I play. Reporter: Wow. Yep. Reporter: With his golden guts, david defies all the stats and frustrating for casinos, he never cheats or counts cards. So, just pure luck? It's just pure luck. 5, 15, too much. Reporter: There you go. So, naturally, we wanted to see this guy's luck with our own eyes. I win. Reporter: So, we brought him to new york for a friendly test at the card table. 19. Nice. Reporter: Whoa! You're winning but I'm not. After half an hour, I've got bust and david is up $5,000. Luck. Luck. Reporter: Now, let's see if your luck extends to lottery tickets. We'll see. Reporter: How about a simple game like scratchoff lotto. David buys two. If you win, I'm going to freak out. Absolutely freak out. Not this one. Reporter: Not that one. 27, 27, won $5, so. Reporter: Wait a minute, you won? Are you sure? Actually, he's even luckier than that. Come on! You won $10. On a $5 ticket. Reporter: But even the best gambnow that lady luck can be a fickle mistress, even cruel. Your luck kind of ran out last fall. It did. Reporter: Last october, david decided to try his uncanny luck in the new glitzy hollywood casino, with nick, his gambling buddy. Just one of those nights, he was a lucky winner. Reporter: After a five-hour run, david was riding high. People were all around me, cheering, seeing me bet their whole month's salary in one 30-second move. I had stacks of $1,000 chips and I said, you know, time to leave before I lose it. I didn't realize how much i actually won until I cashed out. Reporter:358 $100 bills. Nearly $36,000. But it was just at this moment, with david thrilled at his good fortune that lady luck is about to take the rest of the night off. David approaches the cashier's cage to claim his winnings. That's him on casino surveillance video obtained exclusively by "20/20." He says he's flabbergasted that the casino cashier won't write him a check, customary for large winks. He was held up for a significant period of time. More than an hour. They counted the money out in front of him several times. And it drew kind of a crowd. And that's when I knew something didn't, you know, something wasn't right. I asked her three times about getting a check. I was forced to take cash. It was cash as far as I was concerned, or nothing. So, she had a big giant stack, 35,800 BUCKS IN 100s AND PUT IT Into a manila envelope and stapled it up the sides and wrote employee file on it. It was a scary thought to be handed a brick of cash and then when you ask them, is there something I can put that in, she said there wasn't anything. Reporter: Then something else struck him as odd. This security guard here in the tan jacket asks david a question. The management asked me, do you feel comfortable taking this much money home? I said, no, but I don't have a choice. But my brother's home and I'm sure he's got his gun, so, I'm not really worried. Reporter: You have $35,000 under your -- football sized envelope under my arm. Got escorted, you know, with security, to the car. Reporter: Driving home, he's still nervous about carrying so much money. So, david constantly checks his rear view mirror. Reporter: Was anybody following you? I don't feel I was followed and I was fairly paranoid. Reporter: That's because the roads leading to his home are winding and narrow. Yet, on this chilly october night, halloween is about to come early. And david's in for a nasty trick. By 6:00 a.M., He's home alone. His brother's away. And david is safe, tired and much richer. Took the money out, just holding it, thinking, that's my year's salary, right there. It with us good to dream about what I could do with the money, you help out family, pay bills. Reporter: As he dozes off, three men enter his house through an unlocked back door and head upstairs. I had just about fallen asleep and I hear my bedroom door open. Reporter: David wakes up to everyone's worst nightmare. Next thing I know, I see people all in black, a ski mask, gloves, everything. The only thing I could really see was around the eyes. One was a thinner white gentleman, one was a, kind of a well-built black gentleman and he was the one with the gun. Took me a good three to four seconds to realize, this is -- this isn't a joke. And that's when I immediately sawrevolver, took his other hand and, you know, pushed me back into the bed. Put the gun to my head and that's when he started asking me about my brother and that's when I realized, this is real. Reporter: Bizarrely, the assailants seem to know about david's casino conversation about his brother having a gun. They were almost calm about it. When they robbed me. As if it was routine, holding the gun to my forehead. Kept asking about where the money was and it was very close, it was right behind him. Reporter: After ransacking the room, they found that brick of cash. So, they took the money from your night stand. Alasctually had to point it out to me. They were getting insistent on where the money was. I think they were actually looking for the envelope because they had probably seen me with the envelope. Reporter: So, they took your money and ran? They took the money. They ran out, at least I thought they did. They put my blanket over my head. Told me, you know, don't move. And then after everything was said and done, they said they were leaving, you know, stay put. I'm thinking, it's real quiet. I can hear someone running down the stairs. And then about maybe 15 to 20 seconds later, I feel the gun pressed up against my head again, he goes, "i'm still here." Reporter: That convinced david he was about to die.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":19923452,"title":"The Luckiest Man Alive","duration":"7:40","description":"David Hayes was fortune?s favorite son -- until a night in October 2012.","url":"/2020/video/luckiest-man-alive-19923452","section":"2020","mediaType":"default"}