A convenience store manager Thursday became the nation's first two-time lottery millionaire when she claimed a $1.5-million prize, beating odds estimated at about 1 in 15 trillion.
"I never expected to win twice," said Evelyn Marie Adams, who won $3.9 million in the New Jersey Pick-6 game last fall. "It comes as a complete shock."
Sam Valenza, publisher of Lottery Players magazine in Cherry Hill, N.J., said there has been no previous report of a two-time million-dollar jackpot winner in a U.S. lottery. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia offer the games.
Lottery officials said the odds of winning two jackpots in New Jersey's most lucrative lottery game are about 1 in 15 trillion.
Adams purchased both her winning tickets at the 7-Eleven store in Point Pleasant Beach on the Jersey Shore, where she has worked for 10 years.
Her fiance, who bought the second $1 winning ticket with her, owns the convenience mart. Adams' total $5.4 million in prize money will be paid in installments of more than $250,000 a year for 20 years.
Adams, 32, and fiance Herman Edwin Baseshore, 45, both of Point Pleasant, plan to travel and to be married in April.
After winning her first big prize, Adams said she never considered not playing the lottery again. Indeed, she began spending twice as much money--about $100 weekly--on lottery tickets.
"I don't think I'm greedy," she said. "I like to gamble."