‘I couldn’t believe it’: Wife of furloughed U.S. government worker wins $100K Virginia lottery
A few days after Carrie Walls’ husband missed his first pay cheque due to the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history, she discovered she’d won USD$100K in the Virginia Lottery’s ‘Ford’s Expedition Plus $100K,’ scratch-off contest.
“I cried,” said Walls, who spent 13 years in the U.S. Air Force, of the moment she realized she’d won. “I couldn’t believe it.”
The Virginia Lottery posted a statement on their website about Walls’ win, complete with a smiling photo of the Ashburn-based mom sitting in her new, white Ford Exhibition SUV and holding a giant cheque.
According to the statement, Walls’ ticket was drawn from more than 554,000 entries in the Dec. 4 drawing and adds that she plans to put the funds to good use by taking her family to Disney World.
An estimated 800,000 federal workers missed their pay cheques on Friday due to a prolonged U.S. government shutdown over border wall funding disagreements.
Across the country, stories have emerged of furloughed workers making ends meet, including some who set up GoFundMe pages to help cover bills or sold their belongings on Craigslist.
According to the Washington Post, unions representing unpaid federal workers have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in with the Court of Federal Claims.
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“This lawsuit is not complicated: We do not believe it is lawful to compel a person to work without paying them,” Randy Erwin, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, said in a statement. “With this lawsuit, we’re saying, ‘No, you can’t pay workers with I.O.U.s. That will not work for us.”
This past Friday, Congress passed legislation to declare back pay for furloughed workers, though talks seem to be in limbo as U.S. President Donald Trump looks for ways to end the shutdown.
In addition to threatening to declare a national emergency to end the shutdown and free up funding for the border wall, several reports also indicate that the president considered using disaster funds to see his border security promises through.
WATCH: Trump refuses to back down on border wall funding in exchange for reopening the government
On Saturday, Trump took to Twitter to refute claims that he didn’t have a plan to end the shutdown.
“I do have a plan on the Shutdown,” he tweeted. “But to understand that plan you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people. Part of that promise was a Wall at the Southern Border. Elections have consequences!”
The shutdown has stretched into its 23rd day, with no signs of either side giving up the fight.
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