A simple trip to the grocery store to buy popsicles ends with a local couple landing a huge lottery jackpot. The money comes at a time when they need it the most.
Elizabeth Stevens plays the Ohio Lottery regularly. She sometimes wins $20 or maybe $50, but earlier this month she won a life-changing amount.
A few weeks ago, Tom Stevens, 70, of Brooklyn, Ohio, found out he has lung cancer. His wife Elizabeth gives him popsicles to soothe his throat, which often gets dry.
"She went and got more popsicles because we were out of popsicles and I usually have a box or two in here," said Tom Stevens.
On February 11, Elizabeth went to the local Giant Eagle to replenish Tom's popsicle supply. On the way out, she decided to buy a $5 Special Edition Cashword scratch-off lottery ticket.
"I went by that machine, but something was saying, I'm sorry, you know what, I'm gonna get some tickets, so I did and I saw a penny heads up as I was walking out, picked it up," said Elizabeth Stevens.
Elizabeth says she bought four tickets. When she got home, she used that lucky penny to scratch off her tickets.
Tom was sitting with her at the kitchen table when she scratched the last one. They could not believe what they saw until Elizabeth returned to Giant Eagle.
"I said to the lady, I said 'I think I got a winner,' but I really don't know how much. So she put the ticket where it says 'winner, winner, winner' and she goes $100,000," Elizabeth said.
"I couldn't believe it, but she came back and she turned around and she said, she's waving it ... 'I won it,'" Tom said.
After taxes, the Stevens received a check for $71,000.
The couple says they have often even struggled to pay the parking fees when Tom goes for medical appointments at MetroHealth Medical Center.
"A lot of times, we just had money to scrimp through," said Elizabeth.
The couple has five daughters, 14 grandchildren and a great-grandchild. They say the windfall will make it easier for Tom to go through his treatments and the popsicles in the freezer are now much sweeter.
"After he's done and everything is good and we're on the road ... to recovery, he's gonna be fine. I told him we're just gonna go and take a little trip somewhere. We have to; we need it," said Elizabeth.
In addition to the trip, the couple says they plan on paying off their car and putting the rest into a savings account.