Natalie Nield of Oak Grove made a routine stop at the local QuikTrip “to get gas, a pop and a breakfast sandwich” before heading into work on the morning of Dec. 23, but an unplanned trip back inside the store had a bigger impact than the 32-year-old could have predicted.
“I went back out to my car and realized I forgot to buy a lighter,” she explained. “When I went back in, I bought a lighter and a $3 Scratcher (a ‘Triple Peppermint 7s’ ticket).”
“I had won $100 on one about two weeks ago, so I was like, ‘I’m just gonna go ahead and get another one of those tickets.’”
The decision soon led Nield to one of the game’s $50,000 top prizes.
As she scratched the ticket in the parking lot of Cosentino’s Price Chopper before beginning her shift, Nield uncovered one of the game’s “7” symbols and figured she’d won a small prize.
“I saw the 5 and thought maybe five bucks,” she shared. “And then there were more zeroes, and I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh!’ I was shaking and crying and everything. I didn’t know what to do.”
As her co-workers learned of her win, “Everybody was coming up to me all day long and like bowing to me and telling me congratulations,” she laughed. “And they told me I deserved it because I’ve had a horrible year this year. So this just worked out perfect for me.”
Nield plans to put part of her winnings toward paying off her car, but she also has plans for those closest to her.
“Basically, the five main people that are in my life on a regular basis and are always there for me, no matter what, I plan to do something very special for all of them – which is my mom, my dad, my brother, my boyfriend and my best friend.”
Nield purchased her winning “Triple Peppermint 7s” at QuikTrip, 309 S. Broadway, in Oak Grove. The $3 game started Oct. 17 and, to date, offers more than $2.2 million in available prizes.