Despite her unexpected windfall, she remained humble and undecided about how to use her winnings, stating her intention to make a thoughtful choice.
A woman who marks her birthday every year at a Milwaukee casino had quite the stroke of luck this time around. On her whopping 106th birthday, Serafina Papia Peterson hit it big by winning a $1,000 jackpot at the Potawatomi Casino Hotel. “All of a sudden, we see ‘jackpot,’ and we looked down and she had pressed 400 by accident instead of the 50, and the jackpot was over $1,000,” Peterson’s niece, Marge Larson, told CBS affiliate WDJT-TV. However, that's not all, the centenarian, who has lived her entire life in the Milwaukee area, was in for a bigger surprise when the casino’s CEO, Dominic Ortiz, doubled her winnings, reports KOAT. "We've welcomed Sarah every year for her birthday and are grateful that she and her family celebrate with us," Ortiz said. "We were all elated when we heard about her big win and wanted to make her 106th birthday even more special."
For her birthday, the casino paid tribute to her on Facebook, writing, "We would like to wish Serafina a very happy 106th birthday! We were surprised and elated to see our friend with her sparkly balloons in Potawatomi Marketplace today. Serafina’s loved ones shared that they come to Potawatomi Hotel and Casino as a group for her birthday every year. Thank you for sharing your special day with us and good luck."
Peterson absolutely enjoyed her special day as she donned a celebratory sash and reminisced about the joy in her life—particularly, her dog, Happy. “I want to live for my dog, he’s not a dog, he’s a person,” she told WDJT-TV. “He takes good care of me.”
Peterson never would have guessed that she would live to the age of 106, and she is quite happy with the jackpot she’s hit in life. In fact, she looks back at her life with no regrets. "I lived a good life, you know," Peterson said. "I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, I didn't go to the tavern. I just lived a good life. I took good care of myself."
The senior attended Milwaukee’s Lincoln High School and retired from American Motors in 1977. She attributed her long life to being surrounded by loved ones and family members as well as her adorable pooch Happy, of course. “They take good care of me. That’s what means a lot. That they love me,” Peterson told CBS 58. “Everybody loves me and I love them too. And I also love my little dog.”
As for what she is going to do with her winnings, she's still undecided. "I'm happy to win this money," Peterson said. "I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but I'm going to make a good choice." As for what she is going to do with her winnings, she's still undecided. "I'm happy to win this money," Peterson said. "I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but I'm going to make a good choice."
When Geraldine Gimblet of #Lakeland picked up the last $2,000,000 BONUS CASHWORD Scratch-Off game, her passion for crossword games paid off to the tune of a $2 million-dollar top prize, but that’s just the beginning of a truly, winning story! 👉https://t.co/q5mFPaUHR4 pic.twitter.com/mv55B9zmz9— Florida Lottery (@floridalottery) April 7, 2023
The chances of hitting the jackpot are pretty slim so it's amazing that the 106-year-old found some luck to win. Earlier this year, Geraldine Gimblet of Lakeland, Florida, took out her life savings to take care of her daughter during her cancer battle and ended up winning a $2 million jackpot. The 74-year-old told Good Morning America that she is a longtime lottery player. "I’ve been scratching for a long time. Every single day, I bring these Scratch-offs in my pockets." Her daughter was equally shocked telling the outlet, "It was truly amazing. It was a blessing."