A Kentucky woman is full of cheer — thanks to some extra cash — after choosing wisely at her company’s recent white elephant gift exchange.
Lori Janes, an office manager and treatment coordinator at Harmon Dental Center in Louisville, was participating in the perennial holiday party gifting game when someone “stole” her $25 T.J. Maxx gift card.
So, in following the rules of the swap, Janes chose $25 in scratch-off tickets, according to the Kentucky Lottery.
“Once it got to me, it was done and mine to keep,” Janes told the lottery commission. “That’s when everyone was telling me to scratch them off.”
The mother of two won $50 on the first ticket, and then proceeded to hit all 15 spots on her $10 “Hit The Jackpot” ticket, winning the game’s $175,000 top prize.
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“Everyone was going insane,” she said. “People were getting their calculators out and double checking. A couple of people even scanned the ticket on the lottery’s app, just to make sure.”
The woman’s husband and children couldn’t believe the news either.
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“We figured she didn’t look at it right,” Janes’ husband told lottery officials, “but then we heard people in the background celebrating, it became real.”
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Janes said the windfall — which comes to $124,250 after taxes — will now go to paying off her daughter’s student and car loans.
“This is so crazy, I’m truly blessed,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. It was a $25 gift exchange, and I won $175,000!”
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