SANDY LAKE, Pa. -- They say you can't win the lottery unless you play -- and Thelma P. Hovis, 70, has been playing it since it began 29 years ago.
She and her daughter, Rebecca Rice, 46, finally pulled in a jackpot in the June 22 CASH 5 Pennsylvania Lottery game.
The pair had one of three tickets for the $499,066 jackpot and Lottery officials presented them with a check for their share, $166,355, Wednesday at the Country Fair store in Mercer where Hovis bought the winning ticket.
Hovis owns Hovis Country Florist, and her daughter works there as a florist.
Hovis said she was on her way to make a floral delivery June 22 when she asked her husband, Fred, and Rebecca if they wanted any CASH 5 tickets.
Fred gave her $3, Rebecca gave her $5, and Thelma also bought $5 worth of tickets for herself.
Pooled tickets: Rice said that when her mother came back with the tickets, she gave Fred his $3 lottery play, but the two women decided to pool their two $5 tickets and share any winnings the tickets might produce.
One of the tickets matched that night's winning numbers, Rice said, adding they "screamed with delight" when they realized they had won.
She said her share will provide a nice boost for her family -- she has a husband and a daughter -- and she plans to invest some for retirement.
Hovis said she plans to invest her money as well.