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Sick Woman Wins $5 Million on Scratch-Off Ticket

By Brittany Nicholson
By bnicholson@wbbjtv.com

LEXINGTON, Tenn.- A West Tennessee woman with a deadly illness said she has a second chance at life after winning $5 million on a scratch off lottery ticket.

Her family said she was told 5 months ago she only has 6 months to live and this money could be the answer to her prayers.

"I thought maybe one day...You know you always wish," said Belinda Garner, the recipient of the $5 million prize.

She won the money this weekend at Major Market in Lexington. Garner bought a $25 scratch off ticket and the rest is history.

"I thought I was seeing things. I went to the bathroom here..and locked myself in and looked at it," Garner said.

The family said Garner has had a rough life, living on the streets for a while and overcoming drug addiction. Now she has cirrhosis of the liver, a disease that causes the liver to stop functioning.

"I want her to get a liver transplant. She's got the money now to do it with," her brother, Clothel, said.

"She only has 6 months to live. This might get her a bit further. She can find the best quality care and maybe last week she couldn't," said Joyce Moody, the manager of Major Market and a good friend.

Her brother also has stomach cancer and she said she plans to use the money to help him too. Family and friends said she has put everyone else's needs first, and now, it is her turn.

"I'm going to take care of all my family, my son, my brother, my sister, myself," Garner said.

Garner said she also plans to buy a new truck and pay off her son's house.

Tennessee Lottery officials said after taxes, Garner took home $2.6 million.

This is the largest scratch off prize ever won at the Tennessee lottery. The previous prize on a scratch off ticket was $3 million.
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