Nebraska woman wins Pick 5 lottery jackpot twice in six months

As if winning one jackpot wasn’t cool enough

By Kate Northrop

WESTON, N.E. — One Nebraska woman is incredibly lucky after winning her second Pick 5 jackpot in less than 6 months, this time worth $138,000 — even bigger than the last.

Margaret Furasek, 88, of Weston hit it big on July 21, 2020 when she won a $94,000 jackpot while playing the Nebraska Lottery’s Pick 5 game with her numbers 2, 3, 12, 14, and 28. Winning clearly didn’t stop her from having another go at the game. On Dec. 23, 2020, she won yet again, this time winning a jackpot even larger than the first.

Margaret and her husband, Tony, 84, share a daily ritual when it comes to playing the lottery. Tony will head to the BP gas station on Country Road K in Weston, the same retailer that awarded her the first win in July 2020, and buy his wife a Pick 5 Quick Pick ticket. Later that evening at 9:30 pm, they call their daughter Mary Mika to check the winning numbers for them online.

The couple’s consistent routine has helped them win twice now. Her most recent ticket was a free play ticket containing one quick pick play for the Dec. 23, 2020 drawing with numbers 8, 13, 20, 21, and 27. That night their daughter read out the winning numbers, consistency paid off for the second time.

“I said, ‘Grandma, I think you got it twice in six months!'” Tony said Mika exclaimed over the phone in an interview the Omaha World-Herald.

The doubly-lucky winner visited Lottery headquarters in Lincoln on Jan. 4 to claim her prize, saying that her second win was just exciting and unexpected as the first.

According to Neil Watson, a spokesperson for the Lottery, this was not the first time a player won two jackpots in the state. Other double winners include Janee Morgan of Grand Island ($174,000 from Pick 5, 2013 and $106,000 from Pick 5, 2018), an anonymous winner from Hadar ($150,000 from two scratch-off tickets, 2020), and another nameless player from Lincoln ($350,000 from Pick 5 and a scratch-off ticket).

Following the first win in July, Margaret and Tony had put some of the money toward their house. The couple says the more recent windfall of $138,000 will help with the continued upkeep of their home and will be shared with their children and grandchildren.

The odds of winning the Pick 5 jackpot one time are 1 in 501,942, while the odds of winning any prize are 1 in 8. Drawings take place every night at 8:40 pm CT.

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