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Gainesville woman scratches $500K lottery win

POSTED: September 5, 2013 11:16 p.m.

Gainesville resident Deitra Lovell is so private that when she won $500,000 in the Georgia Lottery, she didn’t even tell her mother, Jo Ann.

The Georgia Lottery Corp. released the winning ticket information Thursday after verifying Lovell’s winning ticket and transferring the money to her account earlier this week. Lovell declined to have a picture taken at the time, and initially said she wanted to keep it quiet.

“I told them I didn’t want a picture. I take great pictures of other people,” Deitra Lovell said. “I’ve never been big on (publicity).”

She purchased the ticket at a convenience store on Park Hill Drive in Gainesville.

“Is this for real?” Jo Ann Lovell asked when The Times called. “She spends every penny she gets on the lottery, I’ll tell you.”

Despite some family ribbing about playing the lottery, Deitra Lovell said she’s glad she kept playing because it’s finally paid off. She is a home health worker who said she couldn’t believe her luck when she saw her ticket, a $5 Luck Bucks. She said she’s both happy and in shock.

“I wasn’t sure (I won), she said. “I had to look at it five times. It’s a good thing that’s happened in my life.”
Sham Suddim, owner of the Fast & Friendly Food Mart and Texaco station where she bought the ticket, said he was happy for Lovell and called his store “lucky.”

Lovell played almost every day, Suddim said. This is the biggest jackpot that any of his customers have ever won since he bought the store about two years ago.

“It’s good for me, good for my neighbors, good for the business, too,” Suddim said. “She deserve (it), you know.”

Lovell attributed her good fortune to God, and said the money will go a long way to pay off debts and reduce financial stress. She said she plans to help her mother financially but will keep working. There’s no big vacation planned at the moment.

Jo Ann Lovell said her daughter had planned to take her out for dinner Thursday evening and had wondered where she gotten the money on her salary.

“She doesn’t know that I know it,” Jo Ann Lovell said. “I want to let it be a surprise for her.”

All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and the state pre-kindergarden program.

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