May 31, 2013

Fort Wayne woman converts grocery
change to $77,777 and a vacation upgrade

SanderlinINDIANAPOLIS - When she checked out at Meijer at 59509 Illinois Road in Fort Wayne Tuesday afternoon, Barbara Sanderlin received $6.66 in change.  To break up the triple sixes and avoid walking out of the store with the superstitious numbers hanging over her head, Sanderlin opted to put $6 in the Hoosier Lottery instant ticket vending machine.

That superstitious move turned Sanderlin's grocery change into $77,777! One of the tickets she purchased was a $5 Maximum 7s ticket worth $77,777.

Sanderlin and her husband Gary exchanged the winning ticket for some extra peace of mind at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters Wednesday.

Gary Sanderlin is a retired Navy Chief who works as an industrial electronics technician and Barbara Sanderlin works two jobs, one in retail and the other as a movie theater merchandiser. The couple plans to use their windfall to put a new roof on their house, help out their four grown children and two grandchildren, and sock some away for retirement. 

"It just dropped out of the sky," said Gary Sanderlin.  "It would be foolish not to put some away."

But first, the lucky couple are going to set a little aside to upgrade an already planned and belated 25th wedding anniversary trip to Alaska.

"This will make the trip a little bit nicer," said Barbara Sanderlin.  "We're going to see bald eagles and go on a couple fishing excursions."

The mission of the Hoosier Lottery is to maximize net income for the state in a socially-responsible manner. In fiscal year 2012, the Hoosier Lottery generated $211 million in surplus revenue which was used to significantly reduce the motor vehicle excise tax for all Hoosier drivers and also supported the pension funds for retired Indiana teachers, police and firefighters. Player prizes for the fiscal year totaled $533 million and $60 million was earned by Indiana retailers on the sale of Hoosier Lottery products.

Since its inception in 1989, the Hoosier Lottery has produced more than $4.2 billion for the citizens of Indiana, $1 billion in commissions and bonuses for participating Indiana retailers, and has paid out more than $8.9 billion in player prizes.


For more information, please contact Betsy Gutierrez at or 317-264-4852 or Al Larsen at or 317-242-8803.

Photo:  Barbara Sanderlin of Fort Wayne claims her $77,777 winnings at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters in Indianapolis May 29.

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