2010-03-24 / Front Page

Lucky ticket a ‘pot o’ gold’

By Margaret Whitmer Reporter

CARSONVILLE - The luck of the Irish was certainly with Denise Nugent, who on St. Patrick’s Day went into Carsonville Market to cash in one small lotto jackpot and buy a couple more lotto tickets.

She never expected that it would make her an instant millionaire.

“I’m a big time lottery player, but I don’t like buying the ten dollar ones because they’re a lot of money,” said Nugent, who lives in Carsonville with husband William and their four children.

This time she took a chance on a $10 scratch-off Diamond Doubler lotto ticket. It turned up three nines, making her an instant million-dollar winner.

“I thought they sold me a fake ticket, to be completely honest,” said Nugent, “but the lady behind the counter said, ‘No, we don’t sell fake tickets.’ So I said how much is this? And she said, ‘Oh, you’ve got to go claim your prize!'”

The Nugents drove to Lansing on March 18 to make their claim.

They opted for the one lump sum cash option instead of payments over 20 years, which amounted to slightly less $500,000 after taxes.

The windfall is a blessing to the couple, which has had a bad run of luck recently.

Just last year, Denise’s mother, Donna Welsh, and her aunt, Diane Cass, died in a car crash.

William Nugent has been diagnosed with inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis and is receiving disability compensation. Denise only works seasonally at the sugar beet piling grounds in Sandusky. They have four children, ages 14, 10, 9, and 8.

“They’ve never had anything new,” Denise said. “No new cars or houses. We’re going to for sure pay off the house. We’re not completely sure what to do with the rest. We’re going to make a nest egg. We’ve never ever had an amount of money to deal with.

“My brother-in-law is going to help us out. He’s walking us through everything.”

Carsonville Market owner Jim Gainley said the lucky ticket is a first for their store.

“We get winners all the time but nothing of that amount,” he said. “We had one twenty-five hundred dollar winner. That was the biggest I’d had in fifteen years. She was just super lucky!

“The family that won it can definitely use it and that’s what I told her,” Gainley said. “They’re very nice people.”

Nugent’s sister Brenda, who lives in Croswell, said she believes the family will make good use of the money.

“I think they’ll have a good head on their shoulders about it. It couldn’t have gone to two better people,” Havens said.

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