South Carolina Lottery Winner Will Use Prize to Adopt Grandchildren

Monday March 2nd 2020

"Sometimes I'm pretty lucky," said Jennifer Flannery. No one could argue with that, since the Spartanburg, South Carolina grandmother has just won the lottery.

And she already knows exactly what she'll do with her jackpot win.

Flannery was heading to work and in a bad mood when she stopped for gas and bought a Queen of Hearts scratch-off ticket for $10.

"I went to the gas station and I took out the rest of the money that we had in the bank - I left us with three bucks - and I went and bought lottery tickets," she said.

When she arrived at work, she scratched the ticket and realized she'd won $250,000. Although Flannery is a regular scratch-off player, she never expected to win this much.

"I was shaking and hyperventilating," she said. She didn't believe she'd won at first, and told her boss she needed to leave.

"I left work and I went back to the gas station and I pulled the manager to the side, and I said, 'Um, I think I won a lot of money,'" Flannery recalled. "And she goes, 'Well, what are you so upset for?'"

Flannery said the win changed her life overnight - not the money itself, but what she will do with it.

Jennifer and her husband Timothy have raised their grandchildren since they were babies. They began caring for nine-year-old Samantha when she was six months old, and for her younger brother Timothy at four months.

But the couple could not afford to adopt the kids, who call them mom and dad. The prize will finally allow them to do that. "We've had a hard life. And you know, raising our grand-babies, it's been tough for us," Flannery said.

In fact, the win couldn't have come at a better time for the family.

"We were almost going to file bankruptcy. I was going to file the papers, honest to God," she said.

But now the family's future has changed overnight.

After adopting Sammy and Tim, "We're going to take our first family vacation," Flannery shared. Jennifer and Timothy, who have been married for 20 years, are originally from Wisconsin, and they want to experience one of the state's iconic moments with their kids - a Green Bay Packers game.

The couple will also be able to pay off bills and put money aside for their grandkids' future. Samantha wants to be a vet. "I like animals and I like to help people learn," she said. Timothy said he wants to be a carpenter like his dad, and that he has the best parents a kid could want.

The Speedway #4571 gas station on East Main Street in Spartanburg that sold the winning ticket has received a $2,500 commission.

The South Carolina Education Lottery said there are still a further four $250,000 prizes in the Queen of Hearts instant win game.

And if you didn't win the first time around, be sure to enter your Queen of Hearts and King of Spades scratch-offs in the Game of Suits Second-Chance Drawing - you could win $500,000!

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