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24-Year-Old Wins $25K: Family Tradition Yields Lucky CT Lottery Ticket

Gabriella Cohen and her father, Charlie LaMothe, claim Cohen's $25,000 prize from Connecticut Lottery.
Gabriella Cohen and her father, Charlie LaMothe, claim Cohen's $25,000 prize from Connecticut Lottery. Photo Credit: Facebook/CT Lottery

After nearly trading her winning lottery ticket with her sister, a 24-year-old from Connecticut is now $25,000 richer.

Old Lyme native Gabriella Cohen learned she had won the whopping prize after scratching off her “$500,000 Extravaganza” lottery ticket that she had won in a game played by her family every Christmas Eve, Connecticut Lottery announced on Friday, Jan. 27. 

During the celebration at her family's Old Lyme house on Christmas Eve, Cohen was partaking in this tradition, during which family members will throw ping pong balls into cups with hidden numbers inside. These numbers then correspond to pre-prepared gift bags. 

After landing her ping pong ball in a cup labeled with the number 17, Cohen's corresponding gift bag contained the winning ticket. She almost traded it with her sister in exchange for a gift card, but to the likely future dismay of her sibling, instead decided to play the lottery game. 

Cohen then scratched the ticket without much thought and tossed it on a table for her family members to see. Her brother then noticed a winning number match, and initially took it to mean that she had won $2,500. 

When Cohen's mom took a longer look at the ticket though, she realized what had happened: her daughter had just won $25,000. Not surprisingly, the family then erupted in excitement. 

Cohen picked up her winnings later on at the Connecticut Lottery headquarters with her father, Charlie LaMothe. She won't start spending it on everything, though, as her current plan is to invest it in real estate. 

Cohen's winning ticket was bought at a Sunoco gas station located in Niantic at 188 Pennsylvania Ave., according to Connecticut Lottery. 

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