Furloughed Federal Employee’s Wife Wins Virginia Lottery

Carrie Walls picked up her grand prize the same day her husband missed his first paycheck due to the partial government shutdown.

A woman scratches off her lottery ticket with a coin.
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Carrie Walls picked up her grand prize the same day her husband missed his first paycheck due to the partial government shutdown.

The partial government shutdown officially became the longest one in U.S. history on Friday, January 11, the same day that hundreds of thousands of federal employees missed their first paycheck since it began on December 22, 2018.

Currently in its fourth week, there seems to be no end in sight to the shutdown, as President Donald Trump and Congress have been unable to come up with a deal that would appease both the need to the government to reopen as well as the president’s demand for funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Now, however, it seems that lady luck has taken it into her own hands to provide some relief to at least one family affected by the partial shutdown, as the wife of a furloughed federal worker has won the lottery, the Hill reported.

Carrie Walls of Ashburn, Virginia would have had no way of knowing what would be at stake when she entered her scratcher ticket into the Virginia Lottery’s “Ford Expedition Plus $100K” promotion on December 4, but following the government shutdown that has temporarily put her husband out of a job, is likely very happy that she chose to enter the second chance competition.

“I cried. I couldn’t believe it,” the 35-year-old Air Force veteran told the Virginia lottery about the moment she’d learned she was the big winner.

Carrie was one of the winners of the drawing’s top prize, taking home a new Ford Expedition SUV and $100,000 on Friday, January 11, the same day her husband John, who works for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, missed his first paycheck due to the partial government shutdown.

Her ticket originally did not have the winning scratch-off numbers to win the prize, but Walls entered it in the second-chance drawing in early December. The ticket was chosen from more than 554,000 entries, and the odds of winning the grand prize were 1,387,200 to 1.

Walls told the Virginia lottery that she plans to use her winnings to treat her family to a vacation at Disney World, which she and her husband had been planning before he was forced to take an unpaid leave from work.

The same day that Carrie picked up her winnings, Congress passed a bill that would ensure back pay for federal workers that missed their paychecks due to the shutdown, the Hill previously reported.

President Trump has indicated that he will sign the bill, though there is no telling when federal employees would receive their pay after he does so.