— July 7, 2010 -- Ever wonder what you would do if you won the lottery? What if you won it four times?
Joan Ginther might be the first person with an answer to that question.
Last week, Ginther won over $1 million in the Texas lottery for the fourth time. She won the top prize of $10 million on a $50 scratch-off lottery ticket she bought in Bishop, Texas. Her odds of winning were 1 in 1.2 million.
Ginther's $10 million is one of three top prizes in the "$140,000,000 Extreme Payout" scratch-off lottery game. Of her four big lottery wins, this is her largest yet.
Her latest lotto success brings her total winnings to over $20 million.
No one knows Ginther's secret for winning. In fact, no one knows much about Ginther at all. She requested minimal publicity from the Texas Lottery Commission, and did not return calls for comment.
Public records indicate that she lives in Las Vegas, and had returned in the past to Bishop to visit her father. Though her father died in 2007, Ginther, a Bishop native, still goes back, perhaps to buy lottery tickets at the Times Market store. Of her four lottery wins, three have come from tickets she purchased in Bishop, and two of those three tickets were purchased at the Times Market.
The store is eligible for a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
A neighbor of Ginther's parents, who did not want to be named, said she comes and goes to her late father's house in Bishop, but said he rarely sees her around anymore. He was not sure if she was currently employed, but thought that she had once worked as a university professor in California.
Ginther's lottery success began in 1993 when she won a $5.4 million portion of an $11 million jackpot in the "Lotto Texas" game. Her next win came in 2006 in the "Holiday Millionaire" scratch-off, which netted her $2 million. Her odds of winning those games were 1 in 15.8 million and 1 in 1,028,338.