Seventeen was the magic bingo number for Donna Allen of Hillsboro, one of the friendly faces behind the counter at the Hillsboro Post Office.
She walked away with a $10,400 pay off and all she had to do was listen to her woman’s intuition.
“About an hour before,” Allen said, “I told my husband Dan that the number 17 just popped into my head.”
Her husband wasn’t sure what she meant, but she told him, “if we hit any of these bingo tickets I’m gonna pick 17.”
As the game proceeded, one of her lucky numbers was called and she won $300.
“Then a lady came over and told me, ‘let me make your dreams come true,’” Allen said.
Allen’s husband asked what number she was going to pick and without question she told him the number 17.
“Dan said he was thinking about the number three,” she said, “and I told him don’t confuse me … I’m picking 17.”
The worker at the weekly event held at St. Mary Catholic Church in Hillsboro slowly peeled back the paper on number 17, revealing the partial word “pot.”
Allen had hit the jackpot.
“You could hear a pin drop, it got so quiet,” Allen said. “And then everybody starting clapping and they told me it was the biggest jackpot they’ve ever given out.”
Linda Bradford is the administrative assistant for the school at St. Mary and also manages the weekly bingo event, which benefits the school.
“It’s held every Friday starting at 7 p.m.” she said. “And there are different games that we play, and some have progressive jackpots that are added to each week if no one hits it.”
The game Allen played, appropriately named Lots of Loot, had a jackpot on the evening of July 27 of $9,800.
“A couple of months ago I almost hit it for $8,000,” she said. “But like a dummy I listened to my husband and he picked the wrong number.”
The night didn’t end there since later on Allen added another $600 to her winnings for a grand total of $10,400. “It was my lucky night,” she said.
A woman of faith, Allen said there was a higher reason that Lady Luck smiled on her.
“I went to my sister’s wedding in Arizona a couple of months ago, and just a couple of weeks ago she told us that she has stage four cancer,” Allen said.
Since her sister isn’t doing well at the present time and airline tickets are expensive, some of her winnings will be used to fly the family out for a visit, and to encourage her as cancer treatments begin.
Of course, the tax man will get his percentage, too.
Though her winnings are substantial, she won’t be quitting her job at the post office any time soon.
Tim Colliver can be reached at 937-402-2571.