Woman wins $175,000 lottery jackpot in her office’s holiday gift exchange

Ideas for last-minute Christmas gifts

Ideas for last-minute Christmas gifts


A Kentucky office manager won $175,000 from a scratch-off lottery ticket that she received during her company’s white elephant gift exchange. 

White elephant gift exchanges have a quirky set of rules: Typically, gifts are opened in a group, with players then able to “steal” gifts from other players. 

That happened to Lori Janes, the office manager at Harmon Dental Center in Louisville, Kentucky, but it ultimately led to her lottery jackpot. Janes had received a $25 TJ Maxx gift card, but another worker then “stole” that from her. She then had to pick another gift, which was $25 in scratch-off lottery tickets, according to a statement from the Kentucky Lottery. 

“That’s when everyone was telling me to scratch them off,” Janes said. 

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The first ticket gave her a $50 win, and then she scratched off a $10 ticket that revealed a win on all 15 spots on the ticket, giving her the $175,000 top prize, the statement said. 

“Everyone was going insane,” Janes said. “People were getting their calculators out and double-checking.  A couple of people even scanned the ticket on the lottery’s app, just to make sure.”

Janes said she called her husband and children to let them know of her score, but they didn’t believe her at first. She told the Washington Post that she plans to use the winnings to pay for her family’s cars and for the college education of her daughter, who is a freshman at University of Kentucky.

After taxes, she received $124,250, according to the Kentucky Lottery. 

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