“If I’m able to encourage just one person to pay it forward, it will all be worth it.”
Three weeks ago, Serena Croft of Boise came into the Lottery office. The first words out of her mouth were, “I have a blessing”. Serena started playing the Lottery a couple weeks ago when her dad, who enjoys playing the Lottery, gave her a $5 Scratch ticket. On her very first ticket, she had won $25, so she put $20 in an envelope and purchased another $5 Scratch ticket. Again she won, but this time is was $50! Serena continued to play until one day her dad told her to play the Draw Games. Without any experience playing Draw Games and $25 from previous winnings, she told the clerk at the Albertson’s in Boise to pick Draw Games for her. Turns out, the clerk chose the right Draw Games to play, because that night when Serena checked her tickets, she found out that she had won $1,450 on Pick3!
When asked what she was going to do with her money, she didn’t skip a beat to say that she would be donating nearly half of her winnings to the Women’s and Children’s Alliance, a program that Serena strongly supports. “It is our job to serve, to give a portion of what we are given and to help those in need,” said Croft.
Yesterday, November 19, Serena returned to the Lottery office with similar words from her first visit, “I have another blessing”. Serena especially enjoys playing Pick3 with her family, who are all able to participate in the fun. Serena and her family each pick two numbers from 0-9, and then as a team, pick which three final numbers should be chosen to be used on the Pick3 ticket. During this round of number selections, the trio settled on 4-7-9 and purchased a five-draw ticket. It had only been three weeks since last visiting the Idaho Lottery office with a $1,450 winning ticket and Serena was back for her second $1,450 win by matching all three numbers!
“I can hardly believe it, said Serena, who purchased her winning Pick3 ticket at Jacksons #54 in Boise. “I want my children to learn the true meaning of Christmas, which is giving. Every year when our kids receive new gifts, they have to take some of their old toys and donate them to children in need. This year, my son asked me if one of his Christmas gifts could be given to someone in need. It warmed my heart!”
Just as Serena did after her first big Pick3 win, she plans to give a good portion of her winnings to those in need. Before she even purchased the Pick3 ticket, which would turn out to be a winner, she wanted to sponsor a family during the holiday season from the Women’s and Children’s Alliance and another family at Gowen Field in Boise; but she was hesitant that it may be too much of an expense, and decided to sponsor one family instead. No more than a couple days later, Serena collected $1,450 from her Pick3 winning ticket and knew exactly where it needed to go, to a family at Gowen Field, just as she hoped she’d be able to do.
“The Idaho Lottery is the reason that I’ve been able to help others. I want other families to have positive feelings even when times are tough, and just as my children do, I want other children in less fortunate families to always think of Christmas as a wonderful time of year,” explained Croft.
Serena is a great example of giving during the holiday season and she wants to encourage others to pay-it-forward, because there’s always someone out there that could use your help. “Whether you’re able to give tangible items or volunteer your time, it will not only reap huge benefits on the receiving end, but it will bless you inside and out,” gleamed Croft.
Good luck and happy holidays from the Idaho Lottery!