Sweet Elderly Woman Wins $100,000 on First Powerball Ticket She's Ever Bought


When it’s your birthday, whether or not you have friends and family who will celebrate you, many of us opt to get ourselves a little something, too.

Betty Cooley from Lafayette, Louisiana, bought herself something modest: A Powerball ticket.

She’d never gotten one before, but that day was as good as any, so she sprang for it. She got her ticket from a Lake Charles smoke shop.

To double up the birthday fun and remember her husband — who had passed — she chose numbers inspired by his birth date.

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Something about that combination was magical, and the birthday girl soon found out she’d won $100,000. Now that’s a birthday gift!

“I couldn’t believe it!” Cooley told the Louisiana Lottery. “This was the first time I’ve ever played!”

She knows what she’s going to do with some of it, too. Like any caring mother, her thoughts first went to helping her son, who needs a means of transportation.

“I’m going to buy my son a vehicle,” she said. “He really needs one!”

$100,000 is a lovely windfall, and hopefully Cooley won’t run into the same kinds of problems other lottery winners have fallen prey to.

Fortunately, she probably didn’t win enough to entice greedy relatives to crawl out of the woodwork, a phenomenon all too familiar to many who have won millions instead of thousands.

While plenty of people have daydreamed about what they’d do with the money if they won, they don’t often ponder the many and very real problems that come along with the cash.

Many winners quit their jobs, intending to live off of their winnings — but unless they are very careful, get excellent financial advice, and don’t start snapping up high-cost items just because they can, their funds will peter out quickly.

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Relationships change: the people you thought you knew only see dollar signs when they look at you, and they may start to try to get money out of you. You might change, as a person, and it will become clear what you truly value.

Money is rarely, on its own, a solution to problems — but that doesn’t mean we have to stop dreaming about what we’d do if we were in Cooley’s position.

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