Once, Rhonda Reid won $50 with a scratch-off lottery ticket. That was nice.
The ticket she bought last week made her feel about half a million times better.
Reid, 50, of Macon bought the $500,000 Player's Club game ticket from the 49er Food Mart on Shurling Drive, something she does once every couple of weeks. When she scratched off the ticket and saw she had won the top prize, she couldn't believe it.
"I was wondering, 'Is it real?’ ’’ Reid said. "I just looked and looked at it. I put it under the light. Everybody (in her family) came and confirmed it."
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Still, it really didn't hit Reid until she drove to the Georgia Lottery office in Atlanta on Saturday and had officials there confirm it.
"I never really thought I'd win (the grand prize)," she said. "My family plays it a little more than I do. I couldn't believe it. It didn't sink in until the girl in Atlanta validated it."
Reid has definite plans for the money, but none of them include quitting her job at Geico, where she has worked as an insurance counselor for 27 years.
Reid said the money will be used to take care of her family, and the prize couldn't have come at a better time. She and her siblings have been trying to care for their parents, who are both in their 80s.
In addition, Reid's niece died from lupus just over a year ago and she is taking care of her niece's three children.
"Now I'll be able to take care of them, along with everyone else," Reid said. "My sister, two brothers and I have been praying for something."
Reid was presented with the check Thursday at the 49ER Food Mart, where friends, families and even other customers congratulated her.
Mike Patel, who bought the 49ER Food Mart just over a month ago, owns several convenience stores but said this was the first time he had sold a ticket worth $500,000.
"She bought the ticket Friday, but she didn't come up to me afterward," Patel said. "I found out when (a customer) came in the next day and said 'My friend won $500,000.’ I'm so happy for her."
Read more on this story in Friday's Telegraph and macon.com