Woman ‘steals’ lottery ticket during office Secret Santa game and wins £145,000

A woman who "stole" a Secret Santa lottery gift after her initial selection was also stolen has bagged herself a whopping £145,000.

Lori Janes, from Louisville, United States, had initially been gifted a $25 (£20) gift card for TJ Maxx, but a colleague stole the card as part of the game.

Left with the lottery tickets instead after a gift swap game that saw a co-worker "steal" the gift card, Lori instead bagged herself a cool $175,000 (£145,000) on a lottery ticket.

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White elephant, the UK equivalent being the dirty Santa gift swap, where gifts can be opened or stolen in a round robin, left the woman with a very lucky Christmas surprise.

Despite her initial "disappointment" at having the gift card stolen, Lori found herself with $25 worth of lottery tickets.

Her first ticket bagged her $50 (£40), and once she scratched off the jackpot prize ticket, she found herself with the massive cash prize that left people going "insane".

She said: "Everyone was going insane. 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. I couldn't believe it. It was a twenty-five-dollar gift exchange, and I won $175,000."

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Her husband did not believe she had won the big cash prize, saying: "We figured she didn't look at it right, but then we heard people in the background celebrating, it became real."

After tax, Lori was left with an impressive $124,250 (£101,000) and a Christmas gift swap to remember.

Sunrise Market, the Fisherville-based store that sold the winning ticket, will receive a bonus $1,750 (£1,400).

Lori has said that part of the prize money will head toward paying off her daughter's student loans, while another chunk of the cash will head toward family vehicle expenses, Daily Mail reported.

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