Glenda Blackwell wasn’t having it.
The Leicester, N.C., woman was rolling her eyes when, last Saturday, her husband Buddy asked her to buy a couple of Powerball tickets at the local Suttles Quik Mart in Asheville.
To Blackwell, a lottery ticket is a waste of money – and the couple didn’t have the money to waste.
So she thought up a little plan: how would he feel if she wasted the money on some worthless piece of cardboard for herself.
So she took his money and bought a $10 Carolina Millions scratch-off ticket for herself.
“I was going to be ugly and buy a scratch off to show him they didn’t hit,” Blackwell told WLOS. “Sometimes I get aggravated with him, so I tell him, ‘You’re just wasting your money.'”
After all, the odds of winning the Powerball are about 1 in 292 million. Or, as Wired put it, “barely better odds than having your name randomly pulled from a hat filled with the names of everyone in the US.”
It is tremendously difficult to overstate just how futile buying a lottery ticket is.
That’s what Blackwell thought.
As she scratched the metallic shaving from the cardboard, though, it quickly became clear she wasn’t going to be gloating. Instead, she was going to be celebrating.
The 57-year-old had just won a million dollars.
“I had to eat my words, but they were worth eating,” Blackwell told WLOS, laughing. “So, I was very happy.”
She was presented with an oversize check in Raleigh, N.C., made out for $1,000,000 while the television station filmed her.
“It feels real good to have a check like that,” she said.
Faced with the option of taking a lump sum of $415,503 after taxes or receiving 20 annual installments of $50,000, she chose the former.
Now, for the first time since birth, she doesn’t have to worry about money. She plans to use her newfound wealth to put her daughter and grandkids through college, after finally purchasing her own house.
“We’ve struggled a lot, so now we can buy our own home and our own land. It’ll be paid for and I don’t have to worry about that no more,” Blackwell said. “So, that’s what I plan to do with some of the money and the other part I plan to help my daughter and to put money up for my two granddaughters for college.”
Still, she promised KRON that in the future, the couple will still refrain from buying too many lottery tickets. After all, lightning tends not to strike in the same place twice.