A North Carolinian women who has been battling breast cancer was overcome with joy when she learned that she won the lotto. The breast cancer patient, who is still undergoing treatments, told lotto officials that the money is “a second chance” for her.
Video of Gina Short's grand prize win captured the moment: a room filled with balloons and lotto personnel cheering as Short walked through the door. As confetti fluttered, Short beamed, then fell to her knees, overcome with emotion. Putting her hands on her head as officials cheered her on, Short looked up at her husband, who grinned from ear-to-ear as he pulled her to her feet.
— NC Education Lottery (@nclottery) February 15, 2016
Short's winnings from the Ultimate Millions second-chance drawing are reported to total $1 million. Diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago, the Mecklenburg county resident told officials that she knows the value of a second chance. “That’s what my whole life is about, second chances,” she said. She added that the prize gives her the opportunity to “truly live.”
By her side was her husband Len, who has been Gina's rock throughout her long ordeal, supporting her through surgery and treatments. “I might have gone through the breast cancer, but this is the guy that told me not to run,” Short said. “I wanted to give up, but he would not let me give up.”
Short beat long odds to win the prize. Her entry was one of 1.2 million. She was given the option to receive $50,000 every year for the next twenty years or take a lump sum of $415,500 after taxes. Short chose the big pile of cash.
Sponsored by the North Carolina Education Lotto, the state lotto games raised over half a billion dollars last year for the state's public schools, including $55 million for Mecklenburg county, where Short calls home.
Short hasn't been the only breast cancer patient helped by the lotto. Learn how a Milwaukee winner used his winnings to raise breast cancer awareness in honor of his late wife.