February 9, 2011
Jefferson City Woman Claims $70,000 Lottery Prize
A tough job market sent Lawanda Ruffin back to school for another degree. The 34-year-old single mother will graduate from Columbia College this spring with a degree in criminal justice, which she hopes will lead to better opportunities.
A visit from her long-distance boyfriend, soon to be fiancé Dwayne Henson, led her to another kind of fresh start with a $70,000 Lottery prize. When Dwayne traveled in from Minneapolis for a visit, Lawanda decided that Missouri Lottery Scratchers tickets would make a good belated birthday present. So the two went to Break Time, 1200 Missouri Blvd. in Jefferson City, to buy gas and pick a few games to play. Dwayne, a Bears fan since he originally hails from Chicago, settled on a “Chiefs” ticket, due to his love of sports. What happened later may have given him a new favorite team.
“It was about 12 or 1 o’clock in the morning,” began Dwayne. “I’m sitting at the edge of the bed and I scratch one off. I said, ‘Is that a thousand?’ Usually, we take turns. When I scratch one, I’ll pass it to her and let her scratch one. She scratched one…”
“It was $10,000,” said Lawanda.
Before long, the couple had revealed the top prize on the ticket - $70,000. The shock made Dwayne physically ill.
“I’m still trying to take it in,” Dwayne said.
“The first night we didn’t even sleep. The second day he figured he was going to try and get lucky again,” Lawanda said with a laugh. “So he’s been looking for ‘St. Louis Rams’ (tickets)!”
“When I saw those odds, I told him, ‘That’s God working overtime!’” she continued.
“That’s faith, man,” added Dwayne. “God is good!”
The couple “had a feeling” something good was coming their way. Dwayne said his mother had been praying for them, and she told him that a financial breakthrough was imminent.
“We’ve been through so much financially, and going to school, and the job thing and being in two different states. It’s been rough,” said Dwayne.
“This is a blessing,” Lawanda concluded.
The couple indicated that the windfall would be used to pay for tuition and to supplement their children’s education, but only after they give “the Lord back 10 percent.” Beyond that, a trip for them is in order.
“Then, once we take care of the business, we’re going to Vegas!” exclaimed Lawanda.
” is a $5 ticket that officially began Aug. 28, 2010. The ticket is no longer being distributed since all of the top prizes have been claimed. However, both top prizes on the “St. Louis Rams” Scratchers ticket released at the same time are still in play. Track prizes remaining for any Missouri Lottery Scratchers ticket here at Molottery.com.