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Lucky mother wins her son $2.5m in Chicago lottery

13/5/2014
Shirley Stojak is set for an extraordinarily special Mother’s Day gift this year after buying her son a $2.5m winning lottery ticket.

The 77-year-old cashier's son, Daniel Stojak, said he often gives his mum money to buy him tickets because she is "really, really lucky", having previously won $10,000. But he wasn't so quick to believe the good news this time, not least because it came on April Fools Day.

Stojak, a project manager for a home restoration company, said: "I thought she was playing a joke on me and I almost didn't believe that it was actually real for a day and a half. Then I made some calls to the lottery office and they assured me it was a winning ticket."

Once the news sank in Stojak said he was shocked and couldn't sleep for days. Now he's busy organising a Mother's Day to remember. Originally he planned to take his mum on a riverboat to gamble, but is now adding in dinner and a trip to the jewellery store for a diamond tennis bracelet and possibly a ring.

He has also offered to pay for her to retire but says he's not sure she wants to. She has worked for about 15 years in supermarket chain Jewel-Osco in Niles, Chicago where she regularly buys her son lottery tickets, including the one that would make him a multi-millionaire.

When she scratched off the $10 ticket Stojak said her "whole body started to go" and she "couldn't stop shaking".

As lottery officials presented her with the customary massive cheque at a press conference on Thursday she continued: "I always dreamed it could happen, but I never thought it would happen to me."

As well as making sure his mum never has to work again (unless she wants to of course), Stojak said he is planning to spend his winnings on a holiday, home repairs, a new car and more treats for his mother.

Shirley Stojak certainly seems to be a very lucky woman, so much so that she said everyone now wants her to buy their tickets for them.

She joked: "They come up and rub me, saying 'I need your luck'."

Daniel Stojak chose to receive his winnings in $1.5m cash, before taxes are withheld. The Jewel Osco store got a $25,000 bonus for selling the ticket.

Emma Rumney
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