LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WFLA) — When Lori Janes lost her $25 TJ Maxx gift card at her company’s white elephant party, she was pretty bummed.
Janes worked at Harmon Dental Center in Louisville, Kentucky, as the office manager and treatment coordinator. For the holidays. Janes and her coworkers decided to hold a white elephant gift exchange.
Initially, she got the TJ Maxx gift card before someone stole it, but this meant that she could steal someone else’s gift.
Because of that, she took $25 in scratch-off tickets from one of her other coworkers, which meant that no one else could take them.
“Once it got to me, it was done and mine to keep. That’s when everyone was telling me to scratch them off,” Janes told the Kentucky Lottery.
When she scratched her first ticket, she found that she won a $50 prize, but it was her second ticket that held the real prize.
As she scratched it off, Janes soon realized that she won all 15 spots, meaning she had just won the top prize of $175,000.
“Everyone was going insane,” Janes said. “People were getting their calculators out and double checking. A couple of people even scanned the ticket on the lottery’s app, just to make sure.”
She immediately called her husband and children to tell them what happened, but they didn’t believe her.
“We figured she didn’t look at it right, but then we heard people in the background celebrating, it became real,” her husband said.
Hours later, the Janes family claimed their prize as a one-time payment of $124,250 after taxes.
“This is so crazy. I’m truly blessed,” she said.
Janes said she will now use the money to pay off her daughter’s student loans and their car payments.