Money

95-year-old woman upgrades cellphone after winning lottery

When Ursula McCafferty, 95, won $30,000 from a scratch-off Connecticut Lottery ticket, she wanted to set aside a small portion of her winnings to upgrade her technology.

The great-grandmother from Canaan, Connecticut, went out and bought a new cellphone.

CT Lottery
Ninety-five-year-old Ursula McCafferty, who won $30,000 in a scratch-off Connecticut Lottery game, put part of her winnings toward buying a new cell phone.

"I had a little (cellphone) that I always used because I was afraid I'd fall, but now I have a button for that,'' McCafferty told TODAY. "I already have a computer and an iPad, so I wanted to have a good phone with me to take decent pictures when I see something.

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"Plus a lot of times I'm busy while I'm sitting in my recliner, so now I have the phone right in my hand for anything I need."

McCafferty, who has five children, 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, immediately thought of her family before she treated herself to the new phone.

She plans on giving an extra $1,000 to her daughter, Kathleen McKay, who lives in the area and regularly takes her to doctor's appointments and to get her lottery tickets.

"The first thing I'm doing with this money, I put it right in the trust so that each one of my children is going to get money from me,'' she said. "I'm 95 and there's not a hell of a lot more I can keep doing with it."

While she has a new phone, don't expect to see McCafferty out in the yard playing Pokemon Go anytime soon.

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"I promise you I will not be one of these people diddling around with it and not even looking where they're going,'' she said. "That's a terrible issue. The phone is supposed to be something for my convenience, nothing else."

Every Friday, McKay takes her to the local Stop and Shop to buy $30 worth of lottery tickets. On July 29, she was already up $29 after scratching off her first two tickets at home when she realized she just won $30,000 on her next ticket.

"I almost passed out,'' she said. "I called my daughter and left a message, and when she came over she was like, 'How the hell do you get so lucky?'''

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McCafferty is a retired postmaster who has published three books and still regularly paints with oils. She moved to Connecticut from Florida after her husband of 52 years, Hugh, passed away in 1993.

"Making people laugh is the fuel that keeps me going,'' she said. "I suffer from a lot of pain in my spine and I do hurt a lot and get down in the dumps sometimes. I say 'Lord, I'm ready, take me,' and He won't because I was such a hell-raiser."

McCafferty also has become a minor celebrity around town since the Connecticut Lottery announced her as a winner.

"What I hear is 'Awesome!' Everybody says 'awesome,''' she said before laughing. "Everybody has been very nice."

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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