July 1 was Cheyenne Long’s lucky day.
Just a month before her birthday, the Kalispell native bought a Power Play Gold Crossword ticket at Michael’s East Exxon station in Evergreen.
She was shocked to learn that she had won. While her ticket did not earn her the top prize, it still secured her $2,000, Jennifer McKee, a Montana Lottery spokeswoman, said.
According to a Lottery press release, Long had “a gut feeling” that she should buy some more of the same type of scratch tickets. When she stopped at the Holiday Station in Havre, she bought three more tickets.
She won again. And this time, she won the highest prize: $75,000.
“It was a super genuine and blissful moment,” Long said.
McKee said she has never before seen someone win such high amounts twice in one day. While extremely unlikely, it has happened elsewhere. According to CNBC, a North Carolina woman won the lottery twice in the same day earning more than $1 million in prize money.
In Montana, one of the most recent big-ticket wins went to a Butte woman, Amy Lambert, who claimed the Montana Millionaire Prize and collected more than $680,000 after taxes.
Long received upwards of $53,000 after-taxes. The release said she intends to use the money to pay her bills; she is studying for a personal training certificate and one day hopes to become a pilot.
Established in 1986 after Montanans voted overwhelmingly in favor of creating a state lottery, the Montana Lottery originally sold only $1 “Pot of Gold” scratch tickets. It sold $21.8 million in tickets during its first year of operation. In fiscal year 2017, the lottery sold more than $17 million in scratch games alone, and many more millions in other games, according to the Montana Lottery Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report.
The Montana Lottery website indicates that it has paid more than $590 million in prizes over the past three decades.