Woman battling cancer wins $77,777 from lottery

INDIANAPOLIS — Marilyn Dunlap never saw herself as lucky - that is until last week when she found out she and her husband had won the lottery.

The Kokomo resident and her husband both enjoy playing Hoosier Lottery games, according to WXIN. Her husband bought a $5 “7 Scratch-off” on June 7. After scratching the ticket, he handed the $77,777 winner to his wife and said it was all hers. Why? Because, she said, “He loves me.”

“So I looked at it and used the phone thing and it said congratulations you won $77,000," Marilyn said.

Dunlap is a retired school bus driver — a memory that brings back a big smile. She says she loved her job, and only left to deal with her cancer treatment. Since May, she's been battling metastatic triple negative breast cancer. A very aggressive form.  During that time she has undergone numerous surgeries, rounds of radiation and chemo. But on Tuesday she says her doctor gave her some good news.

"They have to check your blood, your platelets, and your white cells and see if the can find cancer cells. But I didn’t have any. I was good," she said.

Turns out her "luck" hadn't run out

Dunlap says winning the $77,777 will allow her to retire a bit more in earnest, she said, as she will be able to pay off her car and other lingering bills.

She also says the money will help to pay for a big road trip out west with her grandson, who just graduated from college. Before winning the lottery, Marilyn said she didn’t know how she would pay for the trip. Now she says she considers herself extremely lucky to have the trip and the expensive medications she needs to stay healthy paid for.

“ I just feel, truly, that god put it in his path and connected him right at the right place to walk in and hand him a $77,000  ticket," she said.

Because of the type of cancer she had, and the fact that she has a genetic mutation that increases her risk for breast cancer,  Marilyn says her doctors predict her cancer will likely return. But for now, the 68-year-old says she’s not thinking about that. For now, she’s focusing on the positive and making what will likely be her last trip her best trip.

"It’ll be my last trip out there, so I’m going to take it all in and have fun... I'm going to live every moment that I have with positivity, and be thankful for every day and what I do," she said.