By Todd Northrop
Russia's state-run lottery company Stoloto says a retiree has won more than half a billion rubles (US$8.5 million), the country's largest-ever jackpot.
Natalia Vlassova, a 63-year-old retiree from the region of Voronezh, claimed the record jackpot worth 506,000,000 rubles along with her daughter Catherine this week at lottery headquarters.
Natalia bought her ticket from a local post office but waited a week to check the numbers, thinking it was a losing ticket.
When Natalia and her family saw on the news that the big winner hailed from their region, they decided to recheck the ticket even though they still doubted it was a winner.
"The second time I rechecked the ticket on the [lottery's] website I saw the numbers lined up and the incredible amount of money we had won," recounted the winner's daughter Catherine according to a translation.
" 'Something strange is happening' flashed in my head. We rechecked the information several more times," Catherine added.
Natalia and her daughter have not yet decided how they will use the winnings, as they need some time to plan for such a huge amount. The average retiree in Russia receives about 14,000 rubles a month.
Regardless of how they end up spending or saving the money, the two women are confident that part of the winnings will be given to charity.
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