Skip to main content

Her dying husband worried she'd have money troubles. Then she won the lottery

Freeport resident and US$1 million Pennsylvania Lottery winner Karen Coffman celebrates her win holding a commemorative lottery check at the BP gas station in Freeport, Pa., on Thursday, June 13, 2024. (Joyce Hanz/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP) Freeport resident and US$1 million Pennsylvania Lottery winner Karen Coffman celebrates her win holding a commemorative lottery check at the BP gas station in Freeport, Pa., on Thursday, June 13, 2024. (Joyce Hanz/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP)
Share
FREEPORT, Pa. -

In the weeks before his death, Karen Coffman's husband worried she might have money troubles after he was gone.

But two weeks before he died in April of complications from a brain tumor, the Pennsylvania woman bought a scratch-off state lottery ticket that netted her US$1 million.

"When I told him about the prize, he thought I was lying to him," Coffman, 61, said of Robert, her husband of 31 years. She believes there was a spiritual intervention that brought about her win.

"I do think he had something in the works, because he was worried. I hope he's looking down on this," an emotional Coffman said Thursday at a ceremony at which lottery officials presented her with a ceremonial check. It was staged at the gas station where she bought her winning ticket, which cost her US$20.

"I don't go out places. I work and go home. They know me here (at the station)," Coffman said.

The longtime resident of Freeport, near Pittsburgh, described herself as a consistent lottery player who favors scratch-off tickets. When she realized she had won a big prize, she initially stood inside the store in disbelief before a station employee verified her win. She then went home and was shaking by the time she told her husband.

Coffman, who took a lump sum payout, worked in the senior care industry before retiring last month. She said she plans to use some of her winnings to treat relatives to a deluxe Disney trip and eventually plans to move to Florida, saying "I don't want winter no more. I hate the cold."

She also plans to resume playing the lottery when things settle down.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Someone died from untreated AIDS every minute last year: UN

Nearly 40 million people were living with the HIV virus that causes AIDS last year, over nine million weren't getting any treatment, and the result was that every minute someone died of AIDS-related causes, the UN said in a new report launched Monday.

Do you need a lawyer when making a will in Canada?

Many people believe that creating a will requires the services of a lawyer, but this isn't always the case. In his personal finance column for CTVNews.ca, Christopher Liew explains a lawyer's role when crafting your last will and testament.

Local Spotlight

Video shows B.C. grizzly basking in clawfoot tub

A donated clawfoot bathtub has become the preferred lounging spot for a pair of B.C. grizzly bears, who have been taking turns relaxing and reclining in it – with minimal sibling squabbling – for the past year.