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Unemployed Ohio woman wins $5.25M

Sep 29, 2003, 3:31 am

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Ohio Lottery

A woman who was laid off nearly a year ago from her job at LG Philips Displays is no longer down on her luck.

Esther Niese of rural Gilboa, Ohio, who was unemployed, is the holder of a Super Lotto Plus ticket worth $5.25 million.

Ms. Niese could not be reached for comment at her

News of her big win spread quickly yesterday around Ottawa, where Ms. Niese purchased the ticket. The village of Ottawa was devastated last December when its biggest employer shut down, leaving more than 1,000 workers - including Ms. Niese and many of her family members - uncertain about their future.

"Its like a dream come true for her, Im sure," said Ed Andrews, president of Local 1654 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the union that represents Philips employees.

Mr. Andrews said last night that he was thrilled for Ms. Niese after he heard she was the winner. He said only a few former Philips workers have found jobs that pay similar to what they made at the plant, and only about a fourth of the former workers have jobs at all.

About half of them have returned to school in hopes of finding future employment, he added.

Ms. Nieses brother-in-law, Randy Larson, said Ms. Niese was elated about the win. He said she had remained unemployed since leaving Philips last year.

As of late Thursday, Ohio Lottery Commission officials said no one had claimed the prize. The ticket was sold at Rose and Als 7-Eleven in Ottawa.

Al Friend, whose wife, Rose, franchises the 7-Eleven store, said a large winning ticket hasnt been sold at the store since the 1980s. He said the win is a bonus for both Ms. Niese and the town.

"Im really happy for her. Phillips made an impact around here when they left," he said.

"This is really a great moment for our store. Its a nice moment for the town, too. The town always benefits from things like this."

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