Lifestyle & Human Interest

One Month After Losing Home to Fire, Woman Wins $150K in Lottery: 'I Knew God Would Bless Me'


Winning the lottery is something many people dream of. We all like to imagine what we’d do with more cash, but many people don’t know how to handle a large sum of money.

When Nandlall Mangal won $245.6 million by playing the lottery on Aug. 11, he immediately called a lawyer and kept his win a secret.

He also made a wise decision to not hold the monies in his personal name. With the lawyer’s help, he established the Sand & Sea Trust to receive the funds instead of Mangal personally.

What’s more, he decided to receive his winnings in a single lump sum.

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That $245.6 million amount, which is normally doled out over a period of time, got pared down to a slightly more modest $99 million. But it’s still an amazing amount for a man who’d been a blue-collar worker mere weeks before.

“Right now I just plan to relax and see where it goes from here,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii.”

In February, LeAndra Clay’s Arkansas home was destroyed by a fire and she started living in a shed.

She bought a lottery ticket in March, adding on the Power Play option, from the Helena Crossing Conoco, at 3053 Highway 49 in West Helena. Numbers 24, 25, 52, 50, 66 and 5 were selected. Although those were her numbers, she didn’t even know for sure right away because she had no electricity in her little shed.

“I first discovered that I was a winner Monday evening,” she said, according to KATV.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t double check my ticket due to the fact that I don’t have electricity in the shed where I’ve been living since my house was destroyed by the fire.”

She won $50,000 but because she’d also added on the Power Play, it was multiplied by three.

Clay said she plans to use the money to tithe, buy a car and buy a new home.

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This blessing really comes at a time when she can use it, and that hasn’t been lost on her.

“He’s an on-time God,” Clay said.

“I don’t have much family left and kept telling my friends that I have the faith of a mustard seed,” she added. “I knew that God would bless me soon.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking