While checking her tickets for recent Louisiana Lottery’s Lotto drawings, Gonzales resident Josephine Prendergast discovered a big surprise: she held the sole winning ticket for the Jan. 20 Lotto jackpot worth $525,000.

“I was reading the numbers and checking them each off thinking ‘that’s not right!’ They were in the right order and everything,” she recalled.

Immediately after checking her ticket, the 83-year-old called her granddaughter for a ride to Lottery headquarters in Baton Rouge to claim the prize on Feb. 6.

When they arrived, she was sure her grandma had only won $600. “I told her I won just a little more than that,” Prendergast explained.

Her quick-pick ticket matched all six numbers – 02-05-16-21-23-28 – to win the first Lotto jackpot of 2018.

Prendergast purchased her winning ticket at Little Capital of Louisiana in Breaux Bridge, where she visits often. “I pick up two Lotto, two Easy 5 and two Powerball tickets every other week,” she shared.

Little Capital of Louisiana received a one-time bonus of $5,250, which is 1 percent of the prize, for selling the winning ticket. 

Prendergast received $367,500 after state and federal tax withholdings. Her good fortune was just settling in as she considered what to do with those winnings. “I just want some really good PJ’s Coffee!” she exclaimed.