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Co-workers share lottery cash with colleague in need

PowerballPowerball: Co-workers share lottery cash with colleague in need
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The food services team at Ardrey Kell High School traded messages of celebration on March 24, after learning they had a $10,000 winning ticket in the previous night's Powerball drawing.

And they quickly thought of Sophia — and of the medical treatment she needed but couldn't afford.

"There was no way she wouldn't be a part of it," said Marilyn Johnson, manager of the food services staff at Ardrey Kell. "It was never a question."

Sophia Tatsis, a member of the staff, hadn't been at work when her co-workers, along with Ardrey Kell Principal David Switzer, pooled their money for Powerball tickets. Tatsis, 67, had been out of work since December, when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

She hadn't chipped in with a few dollars when the staff bought Powerball tickets. She was more concerned about getting better — and finding a way to pay for a chemotherapy treatment she needed in March.

As a part-time employee, Tatsis doesn't have health insurance other than Medicare. She and her husband, a retired restaurant owner, live on pensions, Social Security and what Tatsis makes in her 25-hour-a-week cafeteria job.

"The treatments are very expensive," Tatsis said Wednesday, near the end of her shift at Ardrey Kell, where she returned to work this week. "Thanks to my friends, I could pay for it."

Johnson said there was never any question among the staff that they would include Tatsis with a winning share — which, after taxes, amounts to about $450, just enough to pay what she owed for chemotherapy.

But Johnson was surprised by what else happened.

"After it became known what we were doing, and word got around the school, other people came forward with envelopes containing money," Johnson said. "What our staff started has continued. It's like what they say about doing a good deed. It just keeps paying forward."

Like most of the others on the 15-member cafeteria staff, Sophia Tatsis has worked at Ardrey Kell for several years. She and her co-workers say the group is tight.

"It's like a family," said staff member Paul Shaw. "When we win, we all win."

"When they called and told me about the ticket and what they were doing, I was shocked," Tatsis said. "I am so grateful for what they have done."

School principal Switzer said the food services staff is "a group of very good people. This has really excited them. It was so nice to see the positive energy — all the smiles on their faces."

The winning ticket was good news in another way. Several other part-time staff members were short on cash, because there was no school on the week after Easter — and, hence, no paycheck.'

"This helped them put food on the table that week," Johnson said.

Johnson and staff member Krystine Palmer, who buys the tickets for the group and was the first to discover they had a winning number, said Wednesday they came within an eyelash of much more.

"We had the first four numbers and the Powerball number," Palmer said. But they missed having the correct number of the fifth ball by a single digit. That would have made the ticket worth $1 million.

"But that's OK," Johnson said. "What's happened is wonderful. The Lord blessed us in this way. It's amazing, how much good came from a single winning ticket."

Thanks to Original Bey for the tip.

Charlotte Observer

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21 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by jamella724.
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dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
Oklahoma
United States
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November 12, 2009
5518 Posts
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Posted: April 14, 2013, 3:59 pm - IP Logged

I love stories like this, congratulation to the winners and may God be with Mrs. Tatsis and the group.

I Love Pink & Green 1908

    helpmewin's avatar - dandy
    u$a
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    February 22, 2011
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    Posted: April 14, 2013, 4:21 pm - IP Logged

    I love stories like this, congratulation to the winners and may God be with Mrs. Tatsis and the group.

    I Agree!

                     

      Avatar
      Nassau
      Bahamas
      Member #92656
      June 11, 2010
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      Posted: April 14, 2013, 4:25 pm - IP Logged

      What a touching story.

      Scared money don't make no money! Leaving

        zinniagirl's avatar - flower avatar_0026.jpg
        nc
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        Member #99522
        October 26, 2010
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        Posted: April 14, 2013, 8:02 pm - IP Logged

        It's hard to coment on an article about your friends!   But it does show what friends can do for others.... My teenage employees go to school there and love Mrs. Tatsis.

          MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
          North Jersey
          United States
          Member #5709
          July 18, 2004
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          Posted: April 14, 2013, 8:52 pm - IP Logged

          Good Karma for these people...!

                                                                 It doesn't matter who hurt you, or broke you down

                                                                         It only matters who made you smile again.         

            HaveABall's avatar - rocket

            United States
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            March 18, 2009
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            Posted: April 15, 2013, 12:34 am - IP Logged

            Congratulations, a timely win, for everyone! Group Hug

            Having millions of dollars in my financial accounts means more, consistent fun for me.Lovies

              sully16's avatar - sharan
              Listens to the wind
              Michigan
              United States
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              October 28, 2009
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              Posted: April 15, 2013, 6:27 am - IP Logged

              Great story, I hope she beats the cancer.

              There's only one US Flag

                Saylorgirl's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg
                Indiana
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                Member #129230
                June 13, 2012
                377 Posts
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                Posted: April 15, 2013, 7:21 am - IP Logged

                What a wonderful story!  I wish her well in her cancer treatment and kudos to those who shared!

                  plumsage's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

                  United States
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                  September 4, 2012
                  129 Posts
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                  Posted: April 15, 2013, 9:12 am - IP Logged

                  What a wonderful story!  I wish her well in her cancer treatment and kudos to those who shared!

                  I Agree!

                    dpoly1's avatar - driver
                    PA
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                    October 16, 2008
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                    Posted: April 15, 2013, 10:13 am - IP Logged

                    This is how America actually works!

                    I celebrate these kind and generous people!

                    Party

                    dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                     

                    Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                      Pinkpansies's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg

                      United States
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                      February 27, 2008
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                      Posted: April 15, 2013, 10:41 am - IP Logged

                      Quote from article - - -

                      "We had the first four numbers and the Powerball number," Palmer said. But they missed having the correct number of the fifth ball by a single digit. That would have made the ticket worth $1 million.

                       -------- End Quote---------

                      If they had the correct number for the fifth ball, that would have been five numbers PLUS the powerball, which would mean they won the Jackpot, not a million dollars.  Correct?


                        United States
                        Member #116272
                        September 7, 2011
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                        Posted: April 15, 2013, 10:54 am - IP Logged

                        Quote from article - - -

                        "We had the first four numbers and the Powerball number," Palmer said. But they missed having the correct number of the fifth ball by a single digit. That would have made the ticket worth $1 million.

                         -------- End Quote---------

                        If they had the correct number for the fifth ball, that would have been five numbers PLUS the powerball, which would mean they won the Jackpot, not a million dollars.  Correct?

                        Sounds correct to me.


                          United States
                          Member #116272
                          September 7, 2011
                          20244 Posts
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                          Posted: April 15, 2013, 10:57 am - IP Logged

                          This group gave a actual share of the winnings, unlike the Realtors who "kicked in a bit"............

                          I wonder if they would have done the same if it meant giving $78,000. instead of $450.?

                            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                            mid-Ohio
                            United States
                            Member #9
                            March 24, 2001
                            18101 Posts
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                            Posted: April 15, 2013, 11:13 am - IP Logged

                            This group gave a actual share of the winnings, unlike the Realtors who "kicked in a bit"............

                            I wonder if they would have done the same if it meant giving $78,000. instead of $450.?

                            One of the results of playing in a group is most members goes along to get along and so the most out spoken member usually speak for all.

                            * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
                            * your best chance at winning a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
                                 Wink