Hope Adams of Detroit Lakes isn’t usually lady luck who wins things.
“Never. I’m not lucky at all,” she said, adding that that’s why she rarely plays the lottery.
But luck has a funny way of changing fast.
Fresh off a surprising win of some Paul McCartney tickets from a drawing last week, Adams stopped into the Holiday Station convenience store in Detroit Lakes Thursday, July 3.
“I had just picked up my son from daycare, and he likes the cookies at Holiday,” said Adams, who stopped to get a few.
Feeling just a little bit lucky off those tickets and a scratch off ticket she had purchased earlier in the day that won her $20, she deciding to use that $20 to buy two lottery tickets called “10 Times the Money.”
She went and sat in her car and scratched the first one off. Nothing.
“I thought, ‘oh, I should have just kept my 20 bucks,’” said Adams, who went on to the second ticket.
Sitting behind that thin layer of silver scratch off stuff wasn’t just “10 times the money”…it was 20,000 times the money. “It was $200,000,” said Adams. “I said aloud to my 3-year-old, ‘Oh my god,’ and he said ‘What Mama?’ and I said ‘We just won a lot of money!’
Adams just sat there looking at the ticket. “It didn’t seem real,” she said, calling her husband, Darin - a busy UPS driver in Fargo - to tell him.
“I said ‘I gotta tell you something, I just bought a 10 dollar lottery ticket and guess how much I won?’ He said ‘I don’t have time for this,’ and hung up,” said Adams, who in all fairness, brought that response upon herself.
A self-described jokester, Adams enjoys pulling off a good prank now and then - like the one she pulled on her husband last Christmas when she bought him a fake lottery ticket that had him believing he had won $10,000.
This time, he wasn’t buying it.
“I sent him a picture of it; he didn’t respond. I called him, but finally two hours after I initially told him about it, he called back,” said Adams, who still couldn’t convince him of her win.
She called her mom, who also didn’t believe her for a few hours.
“I like to play jokes on people, so that’s my fault, I guess,” laughed Adams, who was the little lady who had cried wolf one too many times.
Finally, when her husband got home and saw the ticket for himself, the reality began to sink in.
“He said, ‘Do you know what this can do for us?’” said Adams, a mother of three and Becker County Community Health nurse who was nervously planning on attending midwife school next month.
“So with that and the current bills we had, I was kind of worried things weren’t going to work out the best,” said Adams, who said this lottery ticket couldn’t have come at a better time for her and her family.
Adams says her children, 13-year-old Whitney, 9-year-old Logan and 3-year-old Calvin, haven’t actually said much about the win.
“I told them Friday, and on Saturday the only thing they said was, ‘So do you think we could get an iPad for Christmas?’”
On Monday Adams went to the Twin Cities to claim her prize.
“They take you to a room; there are four people in there, and they ask a bunch of questions and have you sign forms,” said Adams, who was also instructed on the income tax provisions of a lottery win, which was 32.25 percent.
“They take a lot out, but it’s still a heck of a lot more than we had yesterday,” she said.
The Adams’ plan to use the money to pay for Hope’s two years of midwife schooling, pay off bills and do some updates to their house.
And while many lottery winners have at least one luxury purchase in mind when they win, Adams doesn’t.
“I’m not used to spending money on myself, so at this point I haven’t thought of anything yet - but I’m sure something will come up,” she laughed.
And while this big win may inspire some to play even more, Adams says for her, it’s more of an ending to her lottery playing days - she’s cashing out and going home.
“It’s a blessing for what our situation was, and now I’m good,” she said. “I don’t have to try anymore.”