Michigan woman on brink of homelessness wins $390,000 lottery

Shawna Donnelly, of Clarkston, Michigan, won after playing "Lucky for Life."

ByABC News
January 24, 2018, 6:27 AM

— -- A Michigan woman on the brink of homelessness said she couldn't believe her eyes when she realized that her lottery ticket was a match.

Fifty-year-old Shawna Donnelly, of Clarkston, Michigan, won the option of receiving $25,000 a year for life after playing "Lucky for Life" at a local 7-Eleven lottery earlier this month, Michigan lottery officials said Monday.

Donnelly said she's still trying to wrap her head around the win.

"I woke up in the middle of the night and had a feeling I should check my tickets," Donnelly told Michigan Lottery officials on Monday. "When I saw I matched five numbers, I must have refreshed my phone 100 times to make sure I really won."

Donnelly, who was facing homelessness and struggling to take care of her elderly parents, said the windfall came at the perfect time.

"The last year has been the most difficult of my life," Donnelly said. "I've been taking care of my mom full-time, and it's hard to make ends meet.

“Winning this prize couldn't have come at a better time," she added.

Donnelly, who claimed her winnings on Monday, opted to receive the money in a one-time lump sum of $390,000 as opposed to annual payments of $25,000, which would have turned out to be more money in the long run, according to lottery officials.

She said she plans to buy a new home and car with some of the winnings and plans to save the rest.

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