(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — A Kentucky woman is entering the holiday season $175,000 richer thanks to a lucky moment at her employer’s white elephant gift exchange.
Lori Janes, an office manager at a dental center in Louisville, said she first received a $25 gift card to T.J. Maxx in the gift exchange at the dental center’s holiday party on Dec. 13.
When a colleague “stole” the gift card from her in a later round, Janes had to choose another gift: $25 lottery tickets.
She scratched the tickets while still at the party, winning $50 on the first ticket, according to the Kentucky Lottery.
When Janes scratched the second ticket, she won all 15 spots on the ticket, resulting in a $175,000 top prize, the Kentucky Lottery said.
Janes, a mom of two, told “Good Morning America” she felt a “whirlwind of emotions” when she won the grand prize.
“I think my first instinct was just to call my husband, which I did, with everybody in the room,” Janes said. “And he didn’t believe it, that it was actually happening and that this was real.”
Janes, along with her husband and two children, went to lottery headquarters that same day to collect her prize.
After taxes, she took home a check for $124,250, according to the Kentucky Lottery.
Janes said she plans to use the money to pay for her daughter’s college tuition.
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