A Kentucky woman brought home the best gift at her office gift exchange.
Lori Janes of Louisville won $175,000 after receiving a lottery ticket at her office party, according to a press release from the Kentucky Lottery.
Janes, managing officer and treatment coordinator at Harmon Dental Center, participated in a “white elephant” gift exchange at her office on December 13. All gifts had to have a value of $25 or less.
Another participant “stole” a $25 TJ Maxx gift card that Janes had received. The office manager, a frequent TJ Maxx buyer, was disappointed, the statement said. But under the rules of the gift exchange, she had to choose another gift — and she chose the $25 in scratch tickets from a colleague.
“Once it got to me, it was done and it was mine to keep,” Janes said in the statement. “That’s when everyone was telling me to scratch them.”
The first ticket earned Janes $50. But it was the second ticket that won him the jackpot: $175,000.
The office was shocked by his victory, according to the statement.
“Everyone was going crazy. People were pulling out their calculators and rechecking,” Janes said in the statement. “A few people even scanned the ticket on the lottery app, just to be sure.”
“I couldn’t believe it,” she continued. “It was a $25 gift exchange, and I won $175,000! »
Her husband and children also reacted with disbelief at first. “We thought she didn’t look good, but then we heard people in the background celebrating, it became real,” Janes’ husband told lottery officials, according to the statement.
On the same day, Janes won her unexpected vacation prize, which amounted to $124,250 after taxes.
“It’s so crazy,” she said, according to the statement. “I am truly blessed.”
Janes plans to use the winnings to pay off her daughter’s student loans as well as their cars.
And Janes isn’t the only winner: The convenience store where the tickets were sold will also receive a $1,750 bonus.
According to the Kentucky Lottery, the odds of winning the $175,000 “Hit the Jackpot” game prize are only 1 in 1.08 million.