Scharlene Elms of Eldon is a busy woman. She spends her weeks working at Walmart and just about every Saturday night making music at the Ozark Hills Theater in Lebanon.
She was on her way to the Prater Country Music Show on Feb. 6 and decided at the last minute to stick to her routine of buying a Powerball ticket each Saturday. That decision changed her life.
“I almost didn’t buy one,” recalled Elms. “I’m not really sure; I just, at the last minute, I went in to pay for gas, and I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll go ahead and get one. What the heck.’ I’m sure glad I did, now!” Elms added a $2 Quick Pick ticket to her purchase at Murphy Express, in Osage Beach.
When she checked the ticket on the Internet Sunday morning, she discovered she won $200,000.
“I punched my numbers in, just to check it and make sure,” began Elms. “I went to him, (her boyfriend, Wayne) I actually started crying, and I double-checked because I thought I had surely punched my numbers in wrong. So he came in and checked it for me, and he said, ‘I think it’s right. I think it’s right.’ Then I called my daughter and she checked it, too. I wanted to make absolute sure before I came in and made a fool of myself.
“We didn’t really jump and down a lot or anything,” she continued. “I mean, I got kind of excited when I thought, ‘We’ll be able to be debt-free.’ But, we’ve been kind of subdued about it, just in awe.” Her boyfriend, Wayne, and daughter, Tiffany Kincade, accompanied Elms to Jefferson City to claim her prize on Feb. 8. She said she would use the money to pay bills, pay off a house she owns in Rolla that is rented by her son, Nathan Kincade, and use some of the money to put a down-payment on a house of her own. In addition to reducing her monthly bills, Elms said that she may also take a vacation.
“I’d like to go to Nashville for a little vacation,” she explained. “He’s been to Nashville before, and I’ve never been there, so I’d really like to go. “I’ve never been a lucky person, that’s why this was so shocking to me. I thought, ‘This can’t be true, you know.’ But it’s amazing.”