If Maryjane Hart considered herself the luckiest woman in Doniphan, Mo., for having her health, three grown kids and two steady jobs before last Saturday, she's really lucky now.
The 57-year-old divorced convenience store clerk and pharmacy technician won $1 million in last Saturday's $590 million Powerball jackpot on a ticket she sold herself, one week after winning another $500 on a Pick 4 ticket.
"We're just little common people here in a very poor community so this has been a very big deal to everybody here," Hart said of her hometown, population 2,000. "It's the buzz of the town."
It took a while for Hart to believe the buzz herself after she got a call from her ex-husband Saturday afternoon telling her that a winning Powerball ticket had been purchased at the Hartland Pit Stop convenience store she owned for 25 years before selling it seven years ago. She's now working there as a weekend cashier.
"I said, 'Well I had bought some tickets that morning,' and he said, 'Well, maybe you ought to check them,'" Hart recalled.
Hart drove to the closest store to check her tickets and walked away thinking she was a $10,000 winner.
"I slung that ticket in my purse and got out of there before anybody saw it," she said.
She stopped at the next convenience store to check her ticket again. This time both she and the convenience store clerk saw all six zeros and confirmed Hart was a $1 million winner.
One 30 minute phone call later-it took that long to convince her oldest daughter, Nicki, in Atlanta, that she had really won and was not joking-Hart decided to drive to the state lottery office in St. Louis Sunday night to claim her prize first thing Monday morning.
"I still didn't believe it until we got to the lottery office and the guy started shaking his head and said congratulations," Hart said. "Then I knew it was real."
Hart says she plays the lottery regularly but had never won more than the $500 she won the previous Friday on her Quick Pick ticket. A devoted NASCAR fan, she usually chooses drivers' numbers but this Saturday, in a haste to buy a ticket while she worked, she just did quick pick numbers.
Even without her NASCAR good luck numbers, Hart is now expecting a $710,000 direct deposit in her bank account, the amount she will receive after taxes.
Hart says she plans to use the money to take a Hawaiian vacation, "just as quick as my boss will let me take a week."
Her boss would be her supervisor at Hometown Pharmacy, where she works Monday to Friday. She only took one day - Monday, when she traveled to St. Louis to claim her prize - off from the pharmacy and says she plans to keep working.
"I'm bored if I don't work," she said of her two jobs. "Anybody that knows me knows I'll never quit working."
In addition to going to "a lot more" NASCAR races, Hart also plans to reward her children with her newly won riches, specifically her son, David, who has severe disabilities stemming from a car accident when he was 17.
"Last week his Jeep wouldn't run so I had to take him to get groceries and run errands," Hart said. "I told him I plan on buying him a vehicle that will start every morning."
"He started crying," she said.
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