$3M Lottery Winner Plans Dream Alaska Vacation with Terminally Ill Husband

Penny Reep was out for a dentist appointment on Oct. 16 when she purchased the winning ticket at a store in Chicora, according to Pennsylvania lottery officials

A Pennsylvania woman who won $3 million on a scratch-off lottery ticket is now planning to take her terminally ill husband on his dream vacation to Alaska.

Penny Reep, 50, of Armstrong County, purchased the winning ticket on Oct. 16 after stopping at Rummy Mart on South Main St. in Chicora, according to a news release from Pennsylvania Lottery.

The woman said she had a dentist appointment in Butler that day and stopped at the store “to exchange some winning tickets.” One of the new tickets she bought — called $3 Million Diamonds and Gold — wound up being a big winner.

“I scratched the $30 ticket and thought, ‘I’m not seeing this right,'" Penny told lottery officials. But when she scanned it, she realized she had won.

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“I grabbed the counter and started crying,” Penny recalled. “I had chest pain and it felt like my feet were coming out from underneath of me.”

Three days later, Penny claimed her winnings. Now, she plans to take her husband, who has a “very rare” and incurable form of cancer, on the trip of a lifetime to Alaska.

“It was always a pipe dream,” said Penny. “Now, I’m going to be able to give him everything he’s always wanted.”

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Penny’s husband, Pat, was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer after a trip to the hospital in 2021 for what he believed was a hernia, according to ABC affiliate WTAE-TV.

Doctors later determined that he had a rare form of cancer typically found in children. The tumor, which was the size of a football, was eventually removed.

“We don’t know how long we have with him,” Penny told lottery officials. “He’s no longer able to work and I’ve been trying to take care of him, but I’m also having health problems.”

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Now, the couple is looking forward to their upcoming travels. The two also hope to visit their grandchildren in Massachusetts, according to WTAE-TV.

Penny and Pat are also excited to give back “again.” Friends of the couple told CBS affiliate KDKA that the two have spent much of their lives giving back to others.

"It's been a true struggle mentally, physically, financially, emotionally,” Penny said, per WTAE-TV, “and now we're actually able to help give back again to people that helped us through our roughest time.”

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