The Story of an Iraqi Man Who Stunned America

One man’s amazing road to wealth… In the spring of 2015 M. opened an online lottery account at theLotter from his home in Iraq – three months on he’d won a lottery jackpot of $6.4 million in the US! Loads of people all over the world are following the footsteps of the famous man from Baghdad and have started playing international top lotteries online, like the US Powerball!

Note: M. was the first online lottery player at theLotter to be featured in the international press but there have been other big lottery winners at theLotter since, including a woman from Panama named Aura who scooped up a giant Florida Lotto jackpot worth $30 million USD in July 2017. She became an overnight sensation in Central America. Over the years, theLotter has paid out over $100 million in prizes to more than 6 million winners from across the globe.

Driving in Baghdad, He Got a Phone Call that Changed His Life

"Are you sure? Are you sure?!" -- M., a 37-year-old father from Baghdad in Iraq, kept repeating the question when he got the phone call with the news he had won the $6.4 million jackpot in the Oregon Megabucks on 24 August, 2015.

Iraqi man gets a phone call that changed his life

M. had only started playing lotteries in the US and Europe through theLotter three months before he won. "It was a shock. At first, I thought it was a joke. I was driving in my car, I was going to the bank… so I get a call from theLotter, from a great person called Christine, and she told me the great news, so I was in shock! I suspected I’d won something, but had no idea it was the jackpot."

Jackpot Winner Fears for His Life, Pleads for His Name Not to Be Revealed

jackpot winner fears for his life

After careful preparation in the autumn, M. flew to Oregon to claim his millions in December. He requested that theLotter and the Oregon Lottery keep his name confidential because of safety concerns. "The situation in Iraq is not good. It's very dangerous. If my name were revealed, it would be a big problem."

Oregon Lottery director Jack Roberts agreed to the unusual request. "The personal safety risk that he and his family might face seems stronger than the public interest of knowing who the person is," Roberts told local media. "I don't want to read that somebody has been kidnapped or killed because we announce them as a Megabucks winner."

How Can a Foreigner Play the Lottery in the United States?

So how did he do it? How did M. participate in a US lottery from Iraq?

M. played US lotteries online through theLotter, a worldwide messenger service that was established in 2002. Through theLotter people can request somebody to physically purchase lottery tickets on their behalf, even when they are outside of the country or state where the lottery takes place. theLotter doesn’t operate lotteries, but its local reps in more than 20 countries across the world purchase official paper tickets and make a scanned copy available in online players' secure personal accounts. theLotter enables people to play the Mega Millions, play the US Powerball, and play the EuroMillions lotteries and a host of other draws from anywhere in the world.

Is it Legal to Play the Lottery Online?

is it legal to play the lottery online

I. Nelson Rose, the eminent professor of law at the Whittier Law School in California, said in the New York Times article about the Iraqi lottery winner that theLotter’s method of providing official lottery tickets to online participants is “100 percent legal”.

Other media outlets, such as CBS, the Daily Mail, NBC, and the Associated Press also reported that it was perfectly legal for foreigners to win American lottery prizes by purchasing official tickets online at theLotter. This was confirmed officially by the Oregon Lottery: their exact words were that “the system is ingenious”. The method is allowed, because theLotter’s clients do not actually play online. They merely request that the service’s reps physically go out to buy official paper tickets on their behalf.

M.’s future, and the future of his children, looks bright. Whilst he had a hard time believing it was real when he first signed up in the spring, after his win he said that “theLotter was trustworthy and the real deal as everyone on staff was so helpful in getting the prize claimed”.

Asked if he was going to continue to buy lottery tickets: "I'm going to continue to play every day!"

* Note: since M. from Iraq won his American jackpot, and in addition to the woman from Panama who won the $30 million Florida Lotto jackpot, theLotter has seen a Canadian customer, an Australian, a man from the UK, and a man from El Salvador each win $1 million in the US Powerball; and a woman from Ukraine win $1 million playing US Mega Millions; all of them by ordering their tickets online. You can read the stories of these lucky lottery winners here.