Pennsylvania Woman Hits $1M Lottery Jackpot Weeks Before Husband Died

Karen Coffman of Freeport, Pennsylvania, won $1 million on a lottery scratch-off just two weeks before her husband, Robert, died of a brain tumor.

She won the top prize on a $20 scratch-off game bought at a local BP gas station store. 

Although he did not live to see the money in his wife’s account, Robert did hear about her winning ticket. He had apparently become increasingly worried for the financial status of his wife of 31 years as he lived with a terminal illness.

Those would have certainly been eased by the million-dollar windfall. Coffman said she felt her husband watching over her as she claimed the ticket, but she also said she’d always believed she’d hit a million-winner.

“I do think he had something in the works, because he was worried. I hope he’s looking down on this,” she said at the check presentation last week. 

The Purchase 

Karen bought the $20 ticket at a BP gas station store at 222 Buffalo Street in Freeport, an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh, in late April. She claimed her $1 million ceremonial check and her winnings in a presentation at the same BP store late last week.

When she initially bought the winning scratch-off home to her husband, he was initially unbelieving. 

That might have been because his wife had been a consistent and vocal believer that eventually she’d hit a $1 million ticket. 

“Throughout the years, I kept telling him, ‘You watch, one of these days, I am going to hit the million,'” Karen said, speaking to the Pennsylvania Lottery.

14 years ago, she had hit a $6,500 winning scratch-off at the same BP gas station store at which she eventually purchased the $1 million winner. 

However, Robert did not live to see his wife complete her prize claim, as he died in mid-May. 

The Future 

Coffman plans to retire from her nursing career almost immediately. She took the lump sum option over the annual payments. The final amount is minus state and federal taxes, which is 27%, in this case. She plans to spend the $730,000 net figure on family activities, and then move away from Freeport.

Ideas include a trip to Disneyland with her family, a deep sea fishing adventure with her son, and eventually, a retirement home in Florida. 

“I don’t want winter no more. I hate the cold,” she said. 

The future also definitely includes more lottery tickets for the long-time player. “Not until things calm down, though,” she said.

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