Superstitious Fort Wayne Woman Turns Change Into $77,777

By Emma Koch

Credit: Hoosier Lottery

Superstitious Fort Wayne Woman Turns Change Into $77,777

May 31, 2013 Updated Dec 2, 2013 at 4:35 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- When she checked out at Meijer at 59509 Illinois Road in Fort Wayne Tuesday afternoon, Barbara Sanderlin received $6.66 in change. To break up the triple sixes and avoid walking out of the store with the superstitious numbers hanging over her head, Sanderlin opted to put $6 in the Hoosier Lottery instant ticket vending machine.

That superstitious move turned Sanderlin's grocery change into $77,777! One of the tickets she purchased was a $5 Maximum 7s ticket worth $77,777.

Sanderlin and her husband Gary exchanged the winning ticket for some extra peace of mind at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters Wednesday.

Gary Sanderlin is a retired Navy Chief who works as an industrial electronics technician and Barbara Sanderlin works two jobs, one in retail and the other as a movie theater merchandiser. The couple plans to use their windfall to put a new roof on their house, help out their four grown children and two grandchildren, and sock some away for retirement.

"It just dropped out of the sky," said Gary Sanderlin. "It would be foolish not to put some away."

But first, the lucky couple are going to set a little aside to upgrade an already planned and belated 25th wedding anniversary trip to Alaska.

"This will make the trip a little bit nicer," said Barbara Sanderlin. "We're going to see bald eagles and go on a couple fishing excursions."

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