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Furloughed Fed Wins $1 Million Lottery

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Powerball numbers are chosen in the drawing at the Florida Lottery in 2012. Powerball numbers are chosen in the drawing at the Florida Lottery in 2012. Phil Sears/AP

Melissa Weinmann has had a good week.

First, the Defense Department civilian in Pensacola, Fla., learned her furlough days were reduced from 11 to six. Not bad.

Days later, she won $1 million after hitting the Powerball lottery. Even better.

Weinmann had all five numbers correct on her ticket, according to the Pensacola News Journal, but not the Powerball number itself that would have entitled her to a share of the $448 million jackpot. After the numbers were announced, her boss gave her the day off to celebrate. The next day, Weinmann -- whose husband works for the U.S. Marine Corps -- was furloughed.

Despite her newfound fortunes, Weinmann will continue her service to the federal government.

“I loved to work,” she told the News Journal. “If I didn’t have my work I’d be lost.” 

Eric Katz joined Government Executive in the summer of 2012 after graduating from The George Washington University, where he studied journalism and political science. He has written for his college newspaper and an online political news website and worked in a public affairs office for the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. Most recently, he worked for Financial Times, where he reported on national politics.

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