Wife of federal worker wins the lottery amid shutdown crisis

There was a gold lining for one family negatively affected by the government shutdown.

Carrie Walls, the wife of a federal worker who isn’t getting a paycheck because of the impasse, picked up a $100,000 check and a brand-new SUV after winning the Virginia lottery.

As 800,000 government workers lamented missing pay Friday, Walls, who served in the Air Force for 13 years, collected the top prize in the Virginia Lottery’s Ford Expedition Plus $100K promotion, the state lottery announced.

“I cried,” Walls told the Virginia Lottery of the moment she knew she won. “I couldn’t believe it.”

The Ashburn, Va., woman said the $100,000 is especially timely because her husband, John Walls, who works at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is currently furloughed. John is also an Air Force veteran, according to his Facebook.

In a picture posted by the state lottery, Carrie Walls, 35, can be seen beaming in the driver’s seat of a shiny white SUV, brandishing a check almost as wide as the car’s front door.

She’s planning on using the winnings to take her family to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., she said.

Walls bought the golden scratch-off on Dec. 4, two weeks before the shutdown began, and won out of 554,000 entries.


The odds of scratching to win the top prize in Ford Expedition Plus $100,000 are 1 in 1,387,200. The odds of winning any prize in the game are 1 in 4.16.

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