The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are 1 in 195,249,054. It appears Kathy Scruggs beat them without even trying.
Scruggs, 44, of Lithonia, Georgia, told lottery officials Monday that she won September 14’s $25 million Powerball jackpot only because a store clerk had misunderstood which lottery ticket she wanted to buy.
Scruggs said she had asked the clerk at a Shell Food Mart for a Mega Millions ticket, not a Powerball slip.
“But when she turned around, she had actually printed out a Powerball ticket also. So I actually bought (both),” Scruggs said Monday in a video recorded at Georgia Lottery headquarters in Atlanta, where Scruggs had come to claim the prize.
Scruggs said she realized she won the prize the day after the drawing and woke up everyone in her house.
“We were screaming and hollering, and everybody came running,” Scruggs said in a Georgia Lottery news release. “We couldn’t believe it.”
She chose the cash option and will receive $15,124,017 before taxes, according to the Georgia Lottery.
Scruggs said she had been looking for employment since her seasonal job, relating to high school prom season, wrapped up. She said she’ll use the winnings to build a home for her mother and her grandmother, and to start foundations for the homeless and to provide dental assistance for the needy.
Baljit Suddan, a clerk at the Shell Food Mart in Decatur, Georgia, where lottery officials said the winning ticket was sold, said she would have been the person to have sold the slip. But she can’t remember this particular sale, she said Tuesday.
“Sometimes it happens,” Suddan said of the ticket mix-up. “They ask for something, and by mistake (we) give them something (else). ... It was a blessing for her.”
She said she had yet to see a picture of Scruggs and looked forward to seeing one so that she could jog her memory.
“I just want the lucky lady to come over here (so I can) see her lucky face,” Suddan said.
The winning numbers for the September 14 drawing were 16, 41, 42, 50 and 59, with 5 being the Powerball.