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Covington woman wins $500,000 by playing lottery

Wanda Pitts of Covington received her $500,000 check from Georgia Lottery’s Atlanta District Manager Derrick Shelton on Wednesday. She played the instant winner game, “Right On the Money” on Nov. 23. Pitts plans to purchase a new car, pay off her mortgage and help her family with her winnings.

Wanda Pitts of Covington received her $500,000 check from Georgia Lottery’s Atlanta District Manager Derrick Shelton on Wednesday. She played the instant winner game, “Right On the Money” on Nov. 23. Pitts plans to purchase a new car, pay off her mortgage and help her family with her winnings.

COVINGTON — One Covington woman is $500,000 richer.

Wanda Pitts, 49, received the oversized check Wednesday from the Georgia Lottery Corporation after playing the instant game, “Right On The Money.”

After a shopping trip on Nov. 23 in Conyers, Pitt’s 21-year-old niece, Jesse Franks, said she was feeling lucky and wanted to buy some scratch-offs.

The two stopped at QuikTrip located at 11124 Ga. Highway 142 in Covington and purchased four $5 “Right On the Money” instant game cards.

Scratching off her final card, Pitts saw she was a half-million prize winner.

“I showed it to my niece and she just started crying,” Pitts said. “I couldn’t believe it. When I handed it to the cashier, they said I couldn’t cash it here, I had to go to lottery central.”

Pitts said she plans to pay off her mortgage and buy a new car with her winnings.

“I don’t have a door handle on the driver’s side, so I’m definitely going to find a new car,” Pitts said. “But I have a large family and I plan to help them and others that I know.”

Her family surrounded her when Georgia Lottery’s Atlanta District Manager Derrick Shelton presented the winnings this week.

“It’s a rewarding experience to see the impact and hear her story,” Shelton said.

While the gas station/store won’t receive an incentive for selling instant tickets with top prizes, Georgia Lottery Media Relations Manager Kimberly Starks said, “It may be considered a ‘lucky store’ and foot traffic may increase as a result.”

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $14.8 billion to the state’s education programs. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including the state’s HOPE Scholarship Program and pre-kindergarten program.

More than 1.6 million students have received HOPE and more than 1.3 million 4-year-olds have attended statewide, voluntary pre-kindergarten program.