72-year-old McDonald's employee can finally retire thanks to lottery

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Many of us have dreams of retiring and just enjoying our later years, but few who work for fast food restaurants for their entire careers, like McDonald's, have the savings they need to retire. Nell Pierce-Boykin, a 72-year-old McDonald's employee outside the Atlanta area, was in that boat. She worked for McDonald's restaurants in the Atlanta area for 39 years before hitting it lucky with a $750,000 win in a Georgia State Lottery scratch-off game.

Pierce-Boykin paid off her house and replaced her '94 Buick with a new Toyota Camry. She now finally has the money she needs to stop working and do the things she's always wanted to do. She plans to travel more, especially to visit her daughter in Tampa, Florida. She told the local newspaper, the Clayton News Daily, that, "I have a 1,000 things I want to do now."

Even though she didn't earn a lot at McDonald's, she did build a world of friends and memories. She met her second husband, Joe Boykin, who was a regular at the Mt. Zion Parkway McDonald's when she managed the store there. He was an employee at the Clayton County Sheriff's Department when he came into the store regularly.Her daughter, Donna Langston, of Tampa, Florida, met her husband Miles Langston, while she was working at the Forest Park location with her mother. Miles Langston is an Air Force air traffic controller.

Pierce-Boykin told the Clayton newspaper, "We're all McDonald's people. . . we have ketchup in our blood." She may have ketchup in her blood, but now she gets to enjoy her life outside the world of managing a McDonald's restaurant.

During her 39 years with McDonald's she managed five different locations. She started her career with McDonald's in 1970 in Forest Park, GA and moved up to management in 1984. Since then she's managed five different stores in the area. Ray Justice, 75, who owns the franchise at Mt.Zion Parkway McDonald's, where she was working when she bought that lucky lottery ticket, says he's worked with Pierce-Boykin for most of his 50 years working for McDonald's. He said she made a difference in every store she worked.

The philosophy that she taught her employees and that stuck with many of them, "There were times when I did have problems at home, but leave your problems at home. The customer doesn't have to bear the weight of it. If you can stay positive, the customer will feel it."

That positive attitude helped make Pierce-Boykin successful the the last 39 years and will help her now enjoy the retirement she deserves.

Lita Epstein has written more than 25 books including "Working After Retirement for Dummies."
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