Ohio woman wins $15 million on scratch-off lottery ticket, credits late father for luck

Jun 20, 2024, 9:04 am (15 comments)

Ohio Lottery

Winner says father is "having the last laugh"

By Kate Northrop

SANDUSKY, Ohio — An Ohio woman said her luck with winning a $15 million top prize on a scratch-off lottery ticket is owed to her late father, who she says is "having the last laugh."

An Ohio lottery winner credited her late father for the astounding $15 million top prize she won on an Ohio Lottery scratch-off ticket.

Sandusky resident Jeanne kept questioning whether she was awake after the $50 "50th Anniversary" instant ticket she bought at the Friendship convenience store on Hayes Avenue in Sandusky revealed a whopping $15 million top prize.

"I was speechless," she told the Ohio Lottery. "What I kept thinking is, 'I'm just going to wake up. It's not real.'"

The $50 "50th Anniversary" scratch-off ticket is one of the Lottery's four 50th-themed games they released in honor of their 50th year in operation. This scratch-off game offers three top prizes of $15 million, or $600,000 a year paid out over 25 years, in addition to $408 million in total prizes.

And Jeanne was suddenly one of the three top prize winners.

"I scratched it off, and none of the numbers matched because I don't scratch all the numbers," she explained, recalling the moment she played the game. "I scratched, like, maybe 10 or 12, and I usually know if it's a winner or not. So, nothing matched, and I scanned it and it said, 'Winner, see clerk'."

She brought the curious ticket to the clerk, who scanned it for her.

"She, like, fell to the floor," Jeanne said.

The store employee told Jeanne she had won — not just a little, but a lot.

"We both cried," Jeanne recalled. "There were people in line looking at me like I had lost my mind."

Faced with the decision to claim the $15 million prize as either an annuity or cash option, she chose to receive it as a $7.5 million lump sum. After the 3.5% Ohio state tax and the initial 28% federal tax were withheld from the winnings, she took home $5.4 million. However, once the final federal rate of 37% is applied to the prize come Tax Day, Lottery Post estimates she would receive about $4.46 million.

Jeanne's luck clearly has not run out. She had also separately won the grand prize for the Lottery's "Fun Turns 50 Second Chance Promotion" during the promotion's first drawing on February 28, 2024.

"It's unbelievable," she remarked.

She is one of 149 grand prize winners who will receive $3,500 and an invitation for two to the Lottery's exclusive celebratory event at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on September 7, 2024.

"I'm ecstatic about that because I've never been there," she buzzed.

There's one person she credits for all her recent luck — her late father.

 "My dad always told me, 'If it wasn't for bad luck Jeanne, you'd have no luck at all'," she said. "And it's true. The number that the winning was on was my father's, the year he was born, the 28th. That meant a lot to me. He's been gone quite a while, but I guess he was up there having the last laugh."

With her winnings, Jeanne said she plans on paying off her best friend's mortgage, who she's lived with for the past two years. She also wants to buy a house in Florida.

The Ohio Lottery told Lottery Post that the Lottery offers big winners the opportunity to withhold their last name, first name, or both from press releases, and also does not require their face to appear in photographs. In this case, Jeanne allowed the Lottery to use her first name. Alternatively, big winners have the option of claiming through a blind trust, although it is a somewhat complicated process to setup legally.

Now that Jeanne has claimed the first $15 million top prize in the $50 "50th Anniversary" game, two more top prizes remain. There are also nine second-tier prizes of $1 million, or $40,000 every year over 25 years, and 27 third-tier prizes of $50,000 left to claim.

The overall odds of winning any prize in the game are 1 in 3.97. The lowest-tier prize amount is $100, double the cost of the ticket.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Lottery Post Staff


hearsetrax's avatarhearsetrax

CDanaT's avatarCDanaT

Outstanding Jeanne !!! Congrats on your new wealth and enjoy it for a lifetime.

rcbbuckeye's avatarrcbbuckeye

Cool story. We're all (or most of us) hunting for that big win.

Spent considerable time at Cedar Point in Sandusky as a kid and adult. 

Miss the old farm I grew up on.

sully16's avatarsully16

Congrats to the lucky lady, Cedar Point, always a blast.

mightwin1's avatarmightwin1

Nice....I don't  play scratch offs, but do all states do the same...Advertise a top prize amount essentially as the annuity, so the lump sum is half?


Quote: Originally posted by mightwin1 on Jun 20, 2024

Nice....I don't  play scratch offs, but do all states do the same...Advertise a top prize amount essentially as the annuity, so the lump sum is half?

 That is quite a bite she got taken out of that hit. That 37% final federal  chomp is brutal. Yes, they all advertise the annuity which few take but maybe in this case I might have. Age is always a factor and only old people play the lottery.

rcbbuckeye's avatarrcbbuckeye

I rarely play scratchers but in TX the prize listed is the prize a winner gets minus federal taxes (no state tax). A typical $20 ticket has a $1 million prize that is not an annuity, but the cash prize before federal taxes.




Seems like the week of posting lucky lotto winners!

Lotterologist's avatarLotterologist

Interesting story...



Congratulations!!! That's a lot of taxes taken out from her winning ticket. I mean does the Federal Government need to take out 37% of your money 💰

Ranett's avatarRanett

Great job Jeanne.🥳


Quote: Originally posted by Ranett on Jun 22, 2024

Great job Jeanne.🥳

 Jeanne it appears was spending way too much on scratch tickets. Yes, it paid off for her but let it be a warning to others that usually fails.


I used to only buy the whole $5.00 denomination scratcher book. 

It cost $250.00 to buy, the return was always $160.00 a loss of $90.00 per book.

Sometimes, the book returned $140.00 a loss of $110.00 from what I paid.

LottoBux's avatarLottoBux

If her dad were born in 1928 that would put him at 95-96 today depending on the month.

 Jeanne is most likely in her 60's or 70's

 Congrats on your win Jeanne, enjoy

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