When Sigrid Endreson went out to buy some milk, she never expected to come home with $20 million instead.
The Beachwood, New Jersey, resident stopped at a local 7-Eleven in Ocean County, where she spent a grand total of $1 on the Pick-6 lottery ticket that hit the jackpot. She held on to that ticket for two weeks before finally running it through a machine at a Grand Union supermarket.
“One ticket said: ‘See your cashier,’ ” Endreson recalled at a press conference on Thursday, NJ.com reports. “I thought I was a criminal. Then I started to cry and I called my sister to come and get me. She [asked what happened] and I said ‘I think I won the lottery.’ And that was it.”
So what will she do with all that money? Endreson plans to split it with her 16 surviving siblings, who range in age from 53 to 76. The winnings will also be shared with the three children of a brother who died a few years back.
The family has their deceased mother to thank for the windfall: Flossie Clark-Endreson played the lottery until her death in 2004, and the siblings continued the tradition, using money left over from a funeral collection for their mom.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time, it really couldn’t,” the family’s spokeswoman, Marie McHenry, added. “We’re just thrilled that we can help our family members and churches Hooray! That’s what I say. It’s a good thing at a good time.”
Several of the Endresons are still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy and the money will help them finally get back on their feet.
“It was quite tough,” said sibling John Endreson. “And believe me when I say this, the hardest part was seeing other people that were devastated.”
He added: “I was able to redo my house and to help my family, my brothers. I was quite fortunate and I just feel so lucky. And this was just the icing on the cake. I depleted my savings, and now things are looking up pretty good thanks to the state of New Jersey and my mom.”