Thursday
Dec152016

Mixed-Up Millions: Georgia Powerball Lottery Winner Got Wrong Ticket Worth $25 Million

Kathy Scruggs collects her $25 million Powerball jackpot winnings at the Georgia Lottery headquarters.

A mix-up at the lottery store saw Kathy Scruggs, 44, walk away with $25 million.

She originally wanted to buy a Mega Millions ticket, but the clerk made a mistake and gave her a Powerball one instead.

"I asked for a Mega Millions ticket, and the lady gave me a Powerball ticket," she explained. "I just took it anyway. So I bought Powerball and Mega Millions."

The Powerball jackpot ticket was purchased at Shell Food Mart, 4144 Memorial Drive, Decatur.

Scruggs discovered her good fortune the night after the drawing and woke up the entire house.

"We were screaming and hollering, and everybody came running," she said. "I could not believe it."

Baljit Suddan, a clerk at the Shell Food Mart in Decatur, Georgia, where lottery officials said the winning ticket was sold, said she would have been the person to have sold the slip.

"Sometimes it happens," Suddan said of the ticket mix-up. "They ask for something, and by mistake (we) give them something (else). ... It was a blessing for her."

Kathy Scruggs collects her check from the Georgia Lottery at a presentation ceremony.

After working a seasonal job during prom time, Scruggs had been trying to find employment.

"I've been looking and looking and looking," she said. 

Now she plans to buy a car, travel, and help her family and others.

"I'm going to build my mom and grandmother a home," she said. "That's my first focus."

Scruggs selected the cash option and will receive $15,124,017 before taxes. 

She also wants to start foundations to help the homeless and to provide dental assistance to those in need.

"I'm happy and grateful," she said. "I really am."

Winning numbers from the Sept. 14 2011 drawing were: 16-41-42-50-59 and the Powerball was 5.

NOTE: Lottery mistakes happen all the time, but often not for the better. This 2011 event was so unique we thought it was worth repeating today.