Donor Puts Winning Scratch Ticket In Salvation Army Kettle

‘Tis the season! Someone was feeling the holiday spirit after winning big on an instant lottery ticket on Thursday, Dec. 8. But rather than pocket the cash, the lucky winner donated the winnings to charity by dropping the winning ticket into a Salvation Army collection kettle. The kettle was located outside of a Walmart in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The winning ticket was worth $1,000. It was an instant game “Fantastic 10s” ticket – what you and I would call a “scratch off” ticket. According to the PA Lottery website, “Fantastic 10s is a $10 game… When any of YOUR NUMBERS match any WINNING NUMBER, win prize shown under the matching number.”
The ticket was so valuable that Major Leslie Walter of the Erie Salvation Army wasn’t sure what to make of it, saying, “I really had a hard time believing it.” A colleague advised that he could check the legitimacy of the ticket by putting it in the machine, so they did – three or so times.
While the company has received smaller tickets before – usually a dollar or two, according to Walter – a ticket of this size is pretty unusual. It’s also much appreciated since donations are down this year by nearly $20,000. A host of factors may be to blame, including the economy, but there’s another, more surprising culprit: the weather. It’s hard, Walter notes, to raise money when it’s cold and raining outside since foot traffic is down. The lack of funds makes it more difficult to administer programming at the center, including providing gift cards for the holiday seasons for over 4,000 families to use to buy groceries.
With a Fantastic 10 ticket, winnings could have been as high as $300,000. While Walter was thrilled with the $1,000, he couldn’t help but chuckle. If the ticket had been for the top prize, he says, “We could have closed our kettles down for the day.”
Source: Forbes/Kelly Phillips Erb

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