5-7-11-23-31. Those numbers always meant a great deal to David Greeson, 51 of Chatsworth, Ga., since they represented his wife's birthday - Nov. 23, 1957 - and the day they got married (the 31 st).
He would occasionally play the lottery using the numbers, but when his wife Kathy passed away from lymphoma cancer in early December, Greeson played the numbers every night for almost three months. And to his great surprise, on Feb. 25, Greeson won $77,921.
"I looked at my phone and saw the numbers: 5-7-11-23-31," Greeson said. "And I actually pulled to the side of the road and checked again, and the first thing I did was look up and say, 'Kathy, our numbers hit.' I actually started crying a bit. It was a very special moment."
Greeson plans to use the money to travel to some of his late wife's favorite vacation spots, including Washington, D.C., and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. But the real significance lay somewhere else for Greeson.
"I know this sounds strange, but the big thing for me was hitting those numbers," Greeson said. "The money's an extra bonus, and I'm not going to say I won't spend it or enjoy it, but hitting those numbers was the significant thing to me."
According to Greeson, the Georgia lottery told him the odds of winning were one in 554,000.
"The odds of doing that and the timing and me and her, it's just sometimes more than you can imagine," he said. "To hit those numbers exactly just a short time after her passing just seems amazing. Some people said that's more than a coincidence."