News

May 18, 2011

Jefferson City Sisters Rejoice With $50,000 Lottery Prize

audio icon Tammie Smith of Jefferson City purchased three Missouri Lottery “Bonus Word Crossword” Scratchers tickets on her way home from bingo on May 16. Not ready to call it a night, Tammie stopped at her sister’s house for a nightcap. There, her sister, Latonya Smith, talked her into sharing one of the tickets with her. That ticket turned out to be a $50,000 winner.
   
“I told her my left eye had been jumping for two months. That means something good is going to happen,” explained Latonya.
   
She said she had been waiting and praying for two months wondering what was going to come. The good news arrived in the form of a winning Lottery ticket. Tammie had been reluctant to share the tickets she purchased on her birthday, but family loyalty finally won out. Even so, Latonya joked that the prize was all hers.
   
“I told her, ‘If I win on this ticket, this is my money.’ It was all fun and games,” said Latonya.

Neither sister expected to win, so the $50,000 prize left everyone in a state of disbelief. Latonya scratched the winning ticket after her sister had left, but soon called her with the good news. She verified her good luck at a nearby Lottery retail location, and then waited for Tammie to join her the next morning to once again confirm the ticket and take it Lottery headquarters to claim the prize.
   
Tammie enjoys playing crossword puzzles and chose the ticket because it’s fun to play. Players uncover letters to spell words, and the number of words determines the prize amount.

Latonya asked her sister to check the number of words.

“I counted 10, and I said, ‘You got $5,000.’ Then I saw another one, and said, ‘You just won $50,000!’” recalled Tammie.

“You lie!” shouted Latonya, but both proceeded to celebrate. “We did a happy dance and everything!”
   
“This is a crazy day,” said Tammie.
   
“It’s a blessing,” added Latonya. “This is a blessing the Lord has gave.”
   
Despite joking that the prize was all hers, Latonya said she would buy her sister a new car. The remainder will be used to pay bills and support her family.
   
“I pray every night because I’ve been struggling with bills and all that. And this is what happened. It’s a blessing from the good Lord,” said Latonya.
   
Both sisters, who also like to play their favorite numbers on Pick 3 and Pick 4, said they’ll continue to try their luck at the Lottery. Latonya offered this advice for other Lottery players.
   
“Keep praying and playing. Don’t stop!”

Tammie purchased the winning ticket at Capitol Liquor & C-Store, 629 Jefferson St., in Jefferson City.
   
Bonus Word Crossword” is a $3 game that officially began Feb. 5. The game features 12 top prizes of $50,000, half of which still remain in play. Players can track prizes remaining for any Missouri Lottery Scratchers game at Molottery.com.

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