Diane Sharks of Wynne won the prize in the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery’s Play It Again drawing.
Sharks says she was at work when she got the call, and the lottery representative asked for “Diane Reed.” Reed is Sharks’ maiden name, and the name she had used when she registered for the lottery’s loyalty program The Club. Her name was randomly selected from all the eligible entries players had submitted from non-winning tickets.
“I didn’t think it was real,” Sharks said, “but the lady told me her name and gave me her phone number that I could call back to verify she really was who she said she was. Plus, she told me I could look on the lottery website where big winners are listed. When I saw my name posted there, I let out a scream I was so happy.”
Sharks was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2015 and returned to work as a certified nursing assistant just last September. She has four children and plans to use part of her winnings to do some work on her house.
The Club has more than 227,000 registered members. It is free to sign up by going to MyArkansasLottery.com and clicking on “The Club.” Players can enter non-winning tickets to earn Points for Prizes points and entries in Play It Again drawings.
More than 92 cents of every dollar of lottery revenue goes to prizes, scholarships, retailer commissions, and other expenses in Arkansas. Since 2009, the lottery has raised more than $914 million in proceeds for scholarships. More than 542,000 college scholarships have been awarded to Arkansans. The lottery has paid more than $3 billion in prizes to players, about $266 million in retailer commissions and more than $130 million state and federal tax revenue.