Katrina Evacuee Wins $1.6M
Thursday, October 06, 2005
OPELOUSAS, La. — After more than a month of living with dozens of displaced relatives in Opelousas, Jacquelyn Sherman, an evacuee from New Orleans (search), told her niece she was depressed.
That all changed when she won $1.6 million — before taxes — playing a slot machine at Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino (search).
"When it happened, I didn't know what was going on," Sherman said. "I had just put in my $20 in the "Wheel of Fortune" machine when it hit. My feeling about this win is better than being blessed. Thank you, Lord."
Sherman had evacuated to her sister's home in Opelousas as Hurricane Katrina (search) threatened New Orleans. After a month with no end in sight and no prospects, she and her niece began to pray Tuesday.
"I told my aunt that God works in mysterious ways and that I had prayed that something good would happen for the whole family to be happy," Jamie Sherman said.
Later that night, Jacquelyn Sherman and her sister decided to entertain themselves with a trip to Evangeline Downs. Before she knew it, Sherman went from having practically nothing to being a millionaire.