May 25, 2013 – “Everyone has said the same thing, no one deserves it more than me,” winner Deeandra “Andi” Harden told her local CBS4 news team after winning big on an Illinois Lottery scratch-off game.
“To hear so many people say that, it makes me feel really good about myself. Makes me feel like I’m somebody,” Harden said.
Harden’s $1,040,000 prize can continue to make her feel good – she’ll receive a check for $1,000 every week for the next 20 years.
The single mom from Albany, IL., plans to use the money to buy her home, put her daughter through college, and even go to college herself. She hopes to become a certified masseuse.
“I’m going to go to school. I want to better myself. I want to take this opportunity to get where I need to be,” Harden said.
Harden told CBS4 that she works at a gym and a gas station, sells Lia Sophia jewelry, and massages feet on the side.
“She’s the hardest working person I’ve ever met in my whole life,” Harden’s daughter Stephanie said. She told CBS4 that her mom is her hero.
“She just makes everybody fall in love with her. She’s all my friend’s mom. She’s everybody’s mom pretty much,” Stephanie said.
Harden won her weekly windfall on the Illinois Lottery’s aptly named $1,000 a Week for 20 Years scratch-off game, which costs $1 to play.