SLIGO – With it’s leprechaun welcome signs and shamrocks on street signs, Sligo takes pride in its Irish heritage. So it was only fitting that the luck o’ the Irish shine through for one of Sligo’s residents on St. Patrick’s Day last week in the form of a lottery ticket win.
Chelsey Morris felt that luck as a $3 Goldfish scratch-off ticket purchased at the Sligo Sunoco brought home a grand-prize $50,000 paycheck.
The 23-year-old employee of SAMs (Service Access and Management) said she scratched off the ticket inside the convenience store, and realized she had won one of the 10 total top prizes offered in the game.
“I’d like to see the surveillance video,” she said of her overjoyed reaction to winning the big bucks. “It was all just a blur. I was shaking so badly.”
From there, she and her husband, Corey, went around to share the good news with family and friends. Morris said she was so excited, she accidentally left several other lottery tickets on the table inside the store. They were right where she left them when they returned later.
The couple then went to Hershey last week to redeem the ticket, a process that will take a number of weeks before Morris receives the winnings.
Morris said she and her husband love to gamble, and they have had some luck in the past with lottery tickets. In fact, she won a $1,000 prize right before this past Christmas on a ticket purchased at the Rite Aid in New Bethlehem.
“But I’ve never won anything like this,” she said of the $50,000 prize.
Gamblers can be a superstitious lot. Not only was it St. Patrick’s Day in a town known for its Irish heritage, but Morris said that exactly one year earlier, she posted a message on Facebook that read: “Today seems like the perfect day to win $100,000 off a scratch off ticket.”
“It amazes me that little old Sligo ended up with one of the winning tickets,” she said, noting that only 10 top prizes were initially released across the state. As of last week, all but three had been claimed.
With SAMs, Morris said she works with the mental health population and has kept her job through the coronavirus scare because it is deemed essential.
However, she said she plans to use the money to pay off student loans. The couple also recently bought a home in Sligo, and she said she wouldn’t mind using some of the winnings to install a hot tub or swimming pool that the couple’s two children, Averie, 4, and Colton, 2, would enjoy.
Although she said she can’t imagine ever winning that big again, Morris stopped short of saying she would never play the lottery again. In fact, on the way home from redeeming the jackpot ticket in Hershey, she bought another scratch off ticket — and won $10.