published Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Murray County dental assistant has $500,000 grin

Murray County, Ga., dental assistant Debra Ellis won a $500,000 prize playing the instant game Cash Deluxe, according to Georgia lottery officials.

Ellis, 52, bought the winning ticket at Gallons 2 Go in Chatsworth, officials said. She was presented an oversized check today.

“I started out the door but stopped and decided to get one,” Ellis said.

The lucky winner said she looked at the ticket a few times before sharing the good news with a store clerk.

“The clerk asked, ‘Have you won $500?’ ” she said. “I told him, ‘$500,000,’ and he hugged me.”

Ellis said she feels like the winning ticket was “made just for me.”

Ellis plans to fund some home repairs and pay off bills with her winnings.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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