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5 Mothers Who Have Won Big in the Lottery

30th Mar 2017

Lottery winners come from all walks of life. Some of the most fascinating human interest stories are those of women, and in particular working mothers, who have claimed the biggest prizes. Listed below are five mothers who won big in the lottery and how each of them plans to use an unexpected windfall for the benefit of her family.

blue-summer-woman-mom-41003Mother of four Beverly Doran, 37, from Shipley, West Yorkshire, won £14.5 million in a EuroMillions draw in February 2017. The prize came just at the right time for Ms. Doran, who had recently separated. She had been forced to quit her job in order to care fulltime for two of her children who had been diagnosed with autism. After her lottery win Ms. Doran cancelled her government benefits and began looking for a new home. Her winnings would help secure the future of her children, she said. “The main thing is that my children are going to be fine.”

Kelsey Zachow, a single mother from Michigan, won a $66 million Mega Millions jackpot prize in July 2014. Ms. Zachow, who had been playing the lottery regularly for five years with the same numbers, purchased her lucky ticket on Friday the 13th. Following the win, she quit her two part-time jobs as a bartender and medical assistant and said she planned to spend her money on a new car, a new home, world travel and to pay college tuition for her son and her boyfriend’s children.

New Jersey church pastor Pearlie Mae Smith (70) won a $429 million Powerball Jackpot in May 2016, sharing a ticket with her seven adult children. One of the siblings said the numbers chosen for the ticket came from “divine intervention”, possibly referring to her mother’s profession. Another of the children stated that the family’s windfall would allow them to fulfil their dreams, both for themselves and for their community.

Jenn Burston, a young mother of two who works as an office administrator, thought her prize in a UK Lotto draw in December 2014 was only £3,000. When she logged into her National Lottery account with her husband she discovered that her prize was a bit bigger. She had actually won more than £3 million. Ms. Burston said she would use her winnings to purchase a bigger house for her family.

The most spectacular story of a mother who won big in the lottery is probably that of Marie Holmes, the 26-year-old unemployed woman from North Carolina who shared a $564 million US Powerball jackpot with two other winners in February, 2015. Ms. Holmes, a former employee of McDonald’s and WalMart, was able to support her family of four children, one of whom has cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, some of her post-lottery decisions have been reckless, including using some of her winnings to bail out her drug-trafficking boyfriend from jail. On the other hand, her Marie Holmes Foundation has donated new backpacks and school supplies to nearly 400 students in her home community.

One of the most significant ways lottery-winning mothers use their prizes is to support their families and secure the future of their children. For them, dreams really do come true.

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