St. Joseph woman wins $77,777

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kaaheaA St. Joseph woman has enough money to pay off her student loans after winning thousands on a scratcher.

According to a news release last week from the Missouri Lottery, Elizabeth Kaahea, 36 bought a scratcher at City Star on Edmond St. July 29th on her way to work at Venture Foods.

“It’s a very regular stop,” said Kaahea, adding that it often includes a Scratchers buy. “Probably 50/50; some mornings I do, some mornings I don’t.”

She said she scratched the “Ruby Red 7s” ticket she bought that morning after she arrived at work.

“The first one I scratched was $777,” she said. “I kept scratching, saying, ‘No way. Someone gave me a fake ticket.’”

She ended up with the second top prize in the game of $77,777.

At first, Kaahea thought she would sit on the ticket for a while, but then she got nervous and rounded up her Hawaiian-born husband, Keoki, and two children to head to the Kansas City Lottery office. She said she planned to pay off her school loans from Missouri S&T and head back to school to finish her degree.

“I have an opportunity to go back now,” she said.