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FROM RAGS TO SET FOR LIFE

FROM RAGS TO SET FOR LIFE

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It is no secret how Stella James got her groove.
After years of witnessing her aspirations wane, Stella has a new lease on life.
The New Grounds woman who resides at Diamonds Village is the winner of the Set for Life Final Draw – prizes worth EC$500, 000 – a house, a Nissan X-Trail jeep and EC$50,000 cash.{{more}}
With six “Set for Life” tickets in her possession Saturday, July 17, Stella bought two more while in Kingstown. The draw was scheduled for 10 p.m.
That night Stella fell asleep on the living room floor of her small wooden home, still in poverty. Just before 11 p.m. the 42-year-old mother of seven girls and five grandchildren received a telephone call from a friend, Lorna, telling her of her big fortune. For a moment Stella thought she was dreaming.
“I jump up. I said everybody get up: Set fuh Life stop in dah ole house ya,” Stella recalled to SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday. She was still bubbling with excitement. She pointed out that at about three a.m. Sunday morning she managed to sleep but did not have the appetite to eat since winning the draw.
“God did that for me,” she said, adding that although she was not a Christian, she prayed often to God.
While Stella and her family celebrated, capital Kingstown was swarmed by hundreds of “Set for Life” players. Some who had bought thousands of dollars worth of tickets had to deal with their losses.
Telurth Cruickshank, Stella’s boyfriend, said, “I had 20 dollars in the house. I go down the road and buy some Smalta and Chubby for the kids, a Guinness and a beer.” That’s how the family passed the night celebrating their movement out of poverty.
Other prize winners in the National Lotteries Authority Set for Life Final Draw were Carlie Boyea of Park Hill, EC$50,000, Joseph Williams, Gomea EC$30, 000, Jenivey James, Dickson EC$20,000 and O’Celia Williams, Level Garden EC$15,000.
In June several persons had their dreams dashed when the National Lotteries Authority announced that the draw slated for June 18 had been rescheduled for Saturday, July 17, 2004.
This decision was taken “due to overwhelming requests from the public, both here and from Vincentians abroad who were coming home for Carnival”, according to the National Lottery.




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