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Woman whose house burned down wins $80,000 in lottery

A Kentucky woman whose home was destroyed by a fire last month won $80,000 in the Kentucky Lottery — after a panic over whether the winning ticket had burned up in the fire.
/ Source: WLEX-TV

A Trigg County, Ky., woman whose home was destroyed by a fire last month won $80,000 Thursday in the Kentucky Lottery's Gold Bar Bonanza Ultimate Second Chance drawing.

Sandra Ramirez, 44, of Cadiz received a call from lottery officials Thursday morning. Ramirez's home was destroyed by fire Sept. 20. At first, Ramirez thought her winning ticket had burned up in the fire. Winners must be able to present the ticket entered in order to claim their prize.

"When I was told I had won $80,000, I just couldn't believe it, but then I panicked," said Ramirez. "I immediately thought, 'Oh, my God, the tickets burned up in the fire.'"

Fortunately for Ramirez, who said she did not own a computer and entered the drawing online at either the public library or her parents' house, she had left the tickets at her parents' house.

"I was ready to jump in the car and go search through the rubble until it hit me that the ticket could be at my parents' house," she said.

Ramirez drove there and found the tickets next to their computer.

"I did my happy dance," she said.

Ramirez said the money will go a long way toward helping her rebuild her future following the fire. "This is definitely going to be a big help," said Ramirez, who hopes to become debt-free and also plans to buy a computer for her daughter, who is attending nursing school.