New Jersey Park Ranger Furloughed During Government Shutdown Wins $29.5M Lottery

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A park ranger from New Jersey is now $29.5 million richer after winning the largest Pick 6 lotto in the last 15 years. 

Judith Smith was furloughed during the government shutdown, which stretched from December to January. 

Smith bought the Pick 6 ticket that would change her life on Dec. 17, just days before the government shutdown. The ticket was purchased at a Staten Island, New York, liquor store. She and her kids put the ticket in a safe place while seeking out legal and financial advice before coming forward to claim the jackpot, according to CBS News

Smith, who has been a park ranger since 1988, was one of many government employees who went without a paycheck for 35 days. 

“I still can’t believe it,” she told CBS News. 

She came forward this week to collect her $29.5 million prize. 

Smith plans on purchasing a home in Florida so she can be closer to her daughter who lives there. She says she also plans to take care of her children and grandchildren. 

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