Debbie Kujava from Badger in Minnesota, USA, only stopped off at a store to buy some drinks. She ended up buying some lottery tickets and scooped $22.8m in the March 14 Lotto America draw, and the win is great news for her brother too.
The 57-year-old Lotto America winner went to the Holiday Stationstores in Roseau, Minnesota after finishing work and while there bought a Jackpot Bundle of lottery tickets and then put them in her coat pocket and “forgot about them.”
The following day she checked the results and saw her Gopher 5 ticket had won $1, but then saw the Lotto America results and wrongly believed she’d won $2m. Then she contacted her brother Dennis, 66, and his daughter checked the results and the Lotto America win was actually $22.8m. million. “I had to go outside because I was just shaking,” Debbie recalls. Raul Ahumada from Missouri, USA, thought he’d won $25,000 but he’d actually won a $25m Mega Millions jackpot.
Debbie is going to honour a pact and will share the Lotto America winning with her brother. Frank Schwent from Missouri, USA, honoured a pact and shared his $20,000 Mega Millions win with his brother-in-law Robert Adams. In Canada, Darren Doyle and his daughter shared the $1m they won playing Lotto Max.
The win will also be shared with his two daughters, Denise and Deanna. The Lotto America winners have accepted their prize as a $13.5m one-off cash payment, which after taxes will leave $9.4m. This is the latest win in Minnesota after Debra Newman won a $50,000 Powerball prize.
Whereas Dennis retired four years ago, his sister has been working 12-hour shifts over the weekend at the Roseau Areas Hospital and Homes for nearly 40 years. Despite her big Lotto America win, she went to work at the weekend as she didn’t want to “put the nursing home in a bind”, just like Luis Vela Figueroa from New York State, USA, after winning the top prize in the $2,500 A Week For Life scratch card game. Shifts over, Debbie then announced her retirement.
Now she’s planning to pay off her credit cards and be “totally debt-free the rest of my life.” The lucky Lotto America winner also wants to buy a new car and make charitable donations, including one to the Concordia Lutheran Church which she and her brother attend.
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