American Jackpots: Her Lottery Win Life Is More Fish Than Glitz

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Clutching a fishing pole in one hand and taking her fiance Charles' hand in the other, Sandra Hayes climbs out of a custom-designed baby blue luxury Cadillac Escalade EXT and heads down to the local pond, her three young grandchildren in fast pursuit.

Hayes, 52, of St. Louis, has settled into a version of her life that she would have called a fantasy just six years ago.

Back in 2006, Hayes was making less than $26,000 a year as a state social worker, swimming in paperwork and chasing after neglectful parents.

Lottery winnerBut her personal financial troubles ended abruptly when her phone rang one April morning. She was running late for work and, grumpy from a lack of coffee, almost didn't answer, afraid that her supervisor was calling to scold her for her tardiness.

Her intuition was spot on in one respect -- it was indeed her supervisor on the line. But the conversation that followed was not at all what Hayes was expecting.

Watch the "American Jackpots" video above to hear Sandra Hayes tell the story of her windfall, and what her life has been like since her lucky day.

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181 Comments

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agatha

Couldnt happen to a nicer and smart lady!!

November 29 2012 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
donnad3713

I'm with you JayLove, I've always wanted to give a home to as many shelter dogs and cats as I could afford. One day...one day!

May 09 2012 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Beatriz Reyes

what Jerry said I am amazed that any body can profit $7827 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you read this web page http://workonline-freelancer.blogspot.com

May 08 2012 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wayne Bradshaw

SEATTLE (AP) — Border officials say they have seized more than 25,000 counterfeit purses that arrived in an ocean container from Coach Online Outlet.More than 8,500 of the purses were knockoff Gucci, Fendi, Burberry and Coach bags, officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office said Monday. The bags were seized in Seattle March 13 and will be put on the Coach Purses Outlet .Officials said the combined manufacturer's suggested retail price of the handbags, had they been genuine, is more than $ 8.4 million.

May 05 2012 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Susan

Bravo!! I think this lady is great. She didn't let the lottery win go to her head. She had common sense before and still has it. Some lottery winners just lose their minds and too many..... all their money along with it.

May 03 2012 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LadyInRed700

"I bought a Mercedes for a Christmas present".

Later on "I'm on a budget, I save my money"

May 03 2012 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2Sensitive

She's cool. Her Fiance is a tool for wearing that stupid hoodie.

May 03 2012 at 9:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to 2Sensitive's comment
tastles2001

Yes she is very cool,but don't know why you would focus on the hoodie hmmmm,as all those pics on the hoodie are indeed the greatest.

May 04 2012 at 8:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Thad

Sandra - the brotha has good catch (pardon the pun) with or without the money. You're a real cutie pie too!! :)

May 03 2012 at 8:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Faith

@Barancy Peloma, did you not watch the WHOLE video?? She said she still budgets and doesn't live above her means. And it's only 2 cars. Relax.

May 03 2012 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary

I would only help family and very close friends but I am not sure I would devuldge how I came upon the money. I would not give them cash, but would insist on paying off mortgages etc. Its a real shame you can't trust some people no matter what or how good you are to them. Some want more.

May 03 2012 at 6:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply