Last-minute Christmas shopping trip leads to $1 million lottery win in Pennsylvania


Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Lottery

A Pennsylvania woman who bought a lottery ticket just before Christmas had her impulse pay off — in a big way.

April Williams won a $1 million Match 6 jackpot, according to a Jan. 12 news release from the Pennsylvania Lottery. The Sheetz location where she purchased the winning ticket received $5,000.

Williams said she was getting the last of her Christmas shopping done when she stopped at Sheetz. She spotted the lottery machine next to the ATM and decided to pick up a ticket, the release said.

It took a while for Williams to check the numbers — as a single mother of three kids, she’s often busy, and she had other errands to finish, the release said.

She checked the ticket when she was at another convenience store later, looking to buy a Powerball ticket, the release said. She had been playing the lottery since she was 18, but said she had never won more than $20, WBRE reported.

“That’s when I checked my Match 6 ticket, figuring I would just use any winnings from that toward the purchase of my Powerball ticket,” she said.

When she did, she couldn’t believe her eyes — she was a $1 million winner.

“I said, ‘That can’t be right!’” Williams said, according to the release. “I asked the clerk to check the ticket and her eyes became as big as saucers.”

Williams, who works at a paper factory, said she plans to use the money to take her children on a nice vacation, the release said. She also wants to put money toward a home she bought three years ago, The Record Online reported.

She plans to continue living in Lock Haven with two of her children, ages 14 and 16, who still live at home. Her younger son asked for an Xbox, according to The Record Online.

Lock Haven is about 200 miles northwest of Philadelphia.


When gambling is more than a game

Gambling is designed to be a source of entertainment.

If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.

Vandana Ravikumar is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter. She grew up in northern Nevada and studied journalism and political science at Arizona State University. Previously, she reported for USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, and Arizona PBS.


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