Gina Short has been bravely battling breast cancer for the past six years. However, it appears that bad luck is not her only kind of luck. Gina recently won the North Carolina Education Lottery twice in less than three months! The odds of winning just one of the prizes are only about 1 in 2.7 million.
Gina says she is glad that her prize fund will help pay for her chemotherapy treatments. Gina's husband, Len, could not be more proud of his wife. “With what Gina is going through, this helps,” he said. “We'll use the money for Gina. She's the priority. She's number one.”
Gina's first lottery win was one million dollars in the Ultimate Millions second chance drawing in February. She said at the time, “If you would have told me for a million years I wouldn't have believed you. I would have said 'No, you've got the wrong girl.' Because that's what I said when they told me I had cancer, 'No, you've got the wrong girl.'”
Gina opted for a lump sum payment of $415,500. After all, you never know how long you are going to live. Less than three months later, Gina was feeling lucky again. So she urged her husband to by an all or nothing, quick pick ticket for two dollars. Len got his winning ticket from a Publix grocery store on Magnolia Estates Drive in Cornelius. To win the top prize, a player must match all 12 numbers, or none of them. Despite the astronomically low odds, Gina won a quarter million dollars. After taxes, she gets to keep about $173,000. “We kind of didn't believe it,” said Gina. “We checked the same ticket six or seven times because we thought we misread it.”
Enacted as recently as 2005, North Carolina has one of the youngest state lottery systems in the United States. All proceeds go directly to benefit the state's education system.
Breast cancer is a disease that affects many millions of women, and even a few men. It is the leading type of cancer in women, although roughly one in a hundred breast cancer sufferers are men. Worldwide, there were 1.68 million people with breast cancer in 2012 alone. Of these, about 522,000 have died.
No one really knows what causes breast cancer, but the first noticeable symptom is a lump that feels different than the rest of the breast tissue. Other symptoms may include redness or swelling in the breast area. Risk factors for breast cancer are thought to include obesity, lack of exercise, drinking alcohol, and hormone replacement therapy, to name a few. Genetic factors may also be involved. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, among others. In some cases, more than one treatment may be required. Preventive measures include annual mammograms and (in extreme cases, such as genetic disorders) having the breasts removed and replaced with implants.
Overall, it seems that the primary risk factor for developing breast cancer is simply being a woman. But why should Gina have to pay out of pocket for her own chemo? Doesn't Obamacare take care of that?