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Woman 'steals' winning lottery ticket after coworker takes her gift card

Ali Condon

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| Last updated 

Woman 'steals' winning lottery ticket after coworker takes her gift card

Featured Image Credit: Kentucky Lottery / Jeffrey Isaac Greenberg 12+ / Alamy Stock Photo

A woman in Kentucky, US is $175,000 richer today after 'stealing' a winning lottery ticket from her co-worker.

Lori Janes won the Kentucky Lottery jackpot this week after playing a game of white elephant at her office Christmas party.

Originally, the office manager from Harmon Dental Centre had been gifted a $25 voucher for TJ Maxx, but one of her colleagues 'stole' it from her, as per the rules of the festive game.

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When it was her turn to play, Lori 'stole' another colleague's gift - $25 worth of lottery tickets.

One very lucky woman in Kentucky won $175,000 from scratch cards she won playing white elephant. Credit: Kentucky Lottery
One very lucky woman in Kentucky won $175,000 from scratch cards she won playing white elephant. Credit: Kentucky Lottery

If you're not familiar with white elephant - also sometimes known as dirty Santa or Yankee swap - it's pretty straightforward, but it can lead to some serious arguments.

Everyone involved brings one wrapped gift and puts it in the middle. Whether it's a genuinely good gift or a gag present is up to you.

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To kick things off, the first player takes a present from the pile and opens it.

Then, the next player decides whether they'd like to pick another gift from the pool to open, or steal the previous player's gift.

Eventually, when everyone has taken a turn, the first player will get a chance to swap their gift for any other player's present.

The game comes to an end when everyone has had a chance to swap their gift.

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At first, Lori was genuinely 'disappointed' when her TJ Maxx gift card was stolen from her, since she loved the department store - but little did she know she was about to end up with a whole lot more than $25.

Because her gift was stolen, Lori had to pick another one, and decided to take her colleague's $25 worth of scratch cards.

As soon as the game came to an end, Lori's team urged her to scratch off her lotto tickets right away.

The first ticket won Lori $50, which was already a pretty good profit - but when she got to the Hit The Jackpot ticket, she was blown away.

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The $10 was a winner, meaning she had landed the game's top prize of a whopping $175,000.

Lori at first was disappointed to lose her TJ Maxx voucher... but not for long! Credit: Kentucky Lottery
Lori at first was disappointed to lose her TJ Maxx voucher... but not for long! Credit: Kentucky Lottery

"Everyone was going insane. People were getting their calculators out and double-checking. A couple of people even scanned the ticket on the lottery’s app, just to make sure," she recalled to the Kentucky Lottery.

"I couldn’t believe it. It was a $25 gift exchange, and I won $175,000!"

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When Lori called her family to tell them the good news, they almost didn't believe her since she never played the lottery.

"We figured she didn't look at it right, but then we heard people in the background celebrating, it became real," her husband told Kentucky lottery officials.

To make sure it was real, Lori's husband and kids came with her to the lottery headquarters to hand in the ticket, and walked out with a check for $124,250 after taxes.

Lori shared that she already has plans to pay off her daughter's student loans and their car loans.

And surely she'll spend at least a little of whatever's left on a trip to TJ Maxx.

Topics: News, Money, US News

Ali Condon
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