Cadillac Cash jackpot winner presented check

Published 12:38 pm Monday, January 26, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
Lightning can strike twice, according to Vernadean Armstrong, Wind Creek Casino &Hotel’s biggest jackpot winner to date.
Armstrong won more than $632,000 on Jan. 17 after stopping at the casino for what was supposed to be a quick trip, and in 1985, she hit the jackpot for the first time on the TV show “Wheel of Fortune,” winning $40,000.
Armstrong was in town to meet her sister and mother halfway between Decatur, Ga. where she is from and New Orleans where they live. Her sister breeds Yorkies and was getting two of them for her daughters.
The puppies proved to be two of what Armstong considered good luck charms. She was also wearing her “lucky red shoes.” When asked what luck they had brought her before, Armstrong said this was the first because they were new.
On the day she won, Armstrong was accompanied into the casino by her mother, Mamie Turner, while her sister, Gaynell Coudray, the one who breeds the Yorkies, waited in the car with the dogs.
Armstrong was sitting next to her mother as they both played the Cadillac Cash game, who said she turned to her and said, “Momma, look at this, what is this?”
When Armstrong and Turner did look “up top” they saw the jackpot total of $632, 987.30.
Armstrong has already deposited her winnings at the local United Bank and said she intends to keep some of the money in the account there.
She said she also intends to come back to the casino as often as she can and to be a regular face in the crowd.
Armstrong first called home to relay the good news to her husband, Harold Armstrong, and youngest daughter, Ashley Armstrong.
She said she first told Ashley so as not to get her husband too excited because of his high blood pressure.
Both her daughter and husband said it took some coercion from Armstrong to get them to believe her.
Armstrong’s oldest daughter, B’Randi Marshall, said she was asleep when her mother called her.
Marshall said her mother already has plans to get a financial planner and said there are no big purchases or vacations in the works.
According to Gina Lanphear, director of marketing for Cadillac Jack the company that runs the Cadillac Cash games, Armstrong received the full lump sum for her winnings.
Brent Pinkston, vice president of marketing for PCI Gaming Authority, said the funding for the win is handled by Cadillac Jack and PCI Gaming pays a fee to them to have the machines.
As for the two puppies, who were unnamed before the quick trip inside the casino, they are now “Wind” and “Creek” respectively.

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