• HOPE mother of 3 wins extraordinary $557K prize


    ATLANTA -  A Fayetteville mother of three daughters, all of whom are recipients of the Georgia Lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship, is making room for a prize of her own. Karen Wilkes, 50, won the $557,520 jackpot prize from the Dec. 19 Fantasy 5 drawing from matching all five of the winning numbers.


    Wilkes and her husband, Charlie, were all smiles when she claimed the prize Feb. 27 at Georgia Lottery headquarters in Atlanta. The couple, married 30 years, were cleaning off their bedroom dresser when they discovered the ticket.


    “I went to the grocery store to get a birthday cake for my oldest daughter and checked the ticket,” said Wilkes, a Peachtree City school nutrition manager. “I almost had a heart attack.”


    Kroger #0490, 805 S. Glynn St. in Fayetteville, sold the winning Quik Pik ticket.


    The Wilkes’s have three daughters, ages 23, 21 and 20, who are in college.


    “HOPE has really helped,” she said. “We are so lucky that Georgia decided to put lottery money toward scholarships.”


    With the windfall, the family anticipates paying off bills while reducing their workload to spend more time with each other.


    Winning numbers from the Dec. 19 Fantasy 5 drawing were: 13-20-29-31-36.


    Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $15 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.6 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.3 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.


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    HOPE mother of 3 wins extraordinary $557K prize