Sean Gladwell/Hemera/Thinkstock(GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.) — One Colorado woman’s persistence finally paid off after 30 years of playing the exact same lottery numbers — she won a $133.2 million Powerball jackpot.
Judy Finchum, 67, purchased a winning Advance Play ticket on Saturday, her dog Tillie’s birthday, and woke up stunned to see that she had all five out of the winning numbers, including the Powerball.
After seeing the numbers on her phone and checking her ticket, Finchum ran into the bedroom and woke up her husband Mack to tell him.
“We stumbled down the hallway together and I said, ‘Now look at these numbers and look at the numbers on the ticket and are those the same?'” Finchum recalled. “My husband was Mr. calm and says, ‘Yes they are.'”
At a press conference on Tuesday, when Finchum was presented with a large check for $133.2 million, she explained the history behind her winning numbers.
She said that her tried and true selections wer comprised of “birthday numbers.” Number 17 for her late brother, her own birth date, 18, 24 for her sister Star, 25 for her ex-husband’s and 31 for her daughter.
Finchum said she is still imagining how the money could change her life.
“It’s hard to fathom,” she said.
One thing she knows for sure is that she’s officially retired, “as of about 6 o’clock on Sunday morning.”
— Colorado Lottery (@ColoLottery) September 19, 2017
Mack told everyone that “his wife is the most generous person; she’s my greatest gift.”
When asked about their plans, they both agreed it will go to help more than just their own families, citing those suffering in Houston and Florida.
“It’s going to bless the men and women and the people ravaged by the hurricanes,” Mack said.
The ticket was sold in the town of Grand Junction at a store called Lucky Me on Patterson Road.
Finchum said she will take a cash lump sum payment rather than annual payments, which means she will receive $84,607,397 after taxes.
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