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December 23, 2009
Woman wins large lottery cheque

Most Lottery winners know what they want to do with their money, but with $801,000 to her name, Shirley Sayers doesn’t have a clue.

Sayers, owner of Gitts Supermarket at Prospect, stamped her name in the National Lotteries Authorities’ history books by winning the second highest jackpot since the inception of the game.{{more}}

Sybil Alexander of Paul’s Avenue still holds the record for the highest jackpot, with a win of EC$844,220 on May 26, 2000.

On a whim, Sayers purchased 10 quick-picks for the LOTTO draw on December 15 at her own supermarket. The winning numbers were 10, 19, 25, 31 and 36.

Expecting to meet an overjoyed and excited individual at the official handing over ceremony, this reporter’s hopes were dashed by Sayers who was the epitome of calm and only flashed a small smile.

The Queen’s Drive resident said that she just felt like buying the tickets, but didn’t expect to win. It was not until two days after the draw that she realised that there was a whopping sum of money with her name written all over it at the National Lotteries Authorities’ headquarters.

“I am thankful to God for this gift, but I am going to take my time before I go making hasty decisions about what to do with the money,” Sayers told the media.

She said she has been playing the game for quite a number of years and has won considerable amounts in the past. Sayers, however, said that a vacation is far away from her mind since she has to look after her supermarket. “I am not thinking about a vacation right now…the last time I took a vacation I got sick within two days,” she chuckled.

This is only the second jackpot that someone has won for the year, as the last draw has been running since February this year, piling up to the $801,000.

Things, however, have not been easy for Sayers since it became known that she won the jackpot. She said since her win, she has been receiving an onslaught of negative comments. “Just because I am a lotto agent and I won, people are saying that it was rigged and that I shouldn’t have been able to play and win,” said the mother of one.

Manager of the National Lotteries Mc Gregor Sealy, in response, said that it is not against the Lotteries policy to have their agents taking part in their games. Sealy also pointed out that it is not the first time an agent has won the LOTTO and made it clear that “We don’t give away money. People win.”

Just before the official handover of the cheque, Sealy urged Sayers to spend the money wisely and invest in education.