Park ranger furloughed during shutdown wins $29.5 million lottery jackpot

TRENTON, N.J. — A park ranger furloughed during the partial federal government shutdown has claimed a $29.5 million lottery jackpot.

The New Jersey Lottery on Wednesday announced Judith Smith had purchased the winning Dec. 17 Pick-6 ticket days before the shutdown closed the Fort Wadsworth recreation area in Staten Island, New York.

The Bayonne, New Jersey, resident and her two children put the ticket in a safe place while seeking legal and financial advice before claiming the jackpot.

The Pick-6 jackpot is the state’s largest since May 2004.

The government shutdown ended last month.

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