Winning Lottery Ticket Slipped into Salvation Army Donation Kettle

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A Salvation Army donation kettle near Erie, Pennsylvania got a pleasant surprise last week when it was discovered that someone had put a winning Pennsylvania Lottery ticket into the collection kettle. The identity of the person is unknown, but the gift is a welcome one for the Salvation Army this time of year.

The winning lottery ticket was collected on December 6 at a Walmart in Harborcreek Township, just outside of Erie. The winning ticket was worth $1,000, although it went unnoticed at first because it was slipped into the kettle amidst a wad of $1 bills.

“The Christmas season often brings out the best in people,” said Drew Svitko, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Lottery.. “It’s heartwarming to hear stories such as this one, and I applaud this anonymous winner for turning their good fortune into an act of charity that will benefit the community.”

Major Leslie Walter, officer of the Salvation Army in Erie, says that it’s common for people to put winning lottery tickets into the Salvation Army’s collection kettles. But most of the time, the tickets are worth no more than $10 or $20, not $1,000, like this one.

“We are very grateful for this generous donation, which will help us to serve people and families in need,” said Major Walter.

Not only is the anonymous gift a generous one, but it’s a timely one as well. The Salvation Army in Erie County is struggling to raise funds this holiday season. As of Monday, they were $22,000 behind last year’s pace. Last year, the Salvation Army in Erie raised its lowest amount since 2008, so times are definitely tough.

Bernie Myers, business administrator for the Salvation Army in Erie County, says bad weather has hurt this year’s campaign, as has a lack of volunteers.

The Salvation Army’s drive ends on December 24, and in Erie County the campaign is more than $100,000 shy of its target. The money collected goes to help thousands of low-income residents in the area.

Nevertheless, the anonymous lottery ticket has given the Salvation Army in Erie some hope. “We are so pleased, especially since we’re so far behind,” said Myers. “It helps quite a bit.”