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8 Year-Old Girl Gives Lottery Win to Needy

21 February 2002

PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida – As reported by the Palm Beach Post: "A miniature philanthropist in Mary Janes walked into the Port St. Lucie Police Department Wednesday, clutching a plastic change purse stuffed with $777 in cash.

"After winning the money from a Florida Lottery scratch-off ticket this month, 8-year-old Kelly Bateman decided she would give it all to Operation Blue Angels. It's a police-affiliated group that buys toys, dinners and emergency supplies for needy families in Port St. Lucie.

"…The girl's mother, Robyn Bateman, said her family buys 10 lottery tickets each Tuesday, two each for her, her husband and three children.

"…Florida lottery rules do not allow children under 18 to buy tickets, but they may collect their winnings through a parent or guardian if they receive the tickets as a gift.

"Blue Angels volunteer Marina Feeney said Kelly was introduced to the operation last Christmas when her family stopped by a Port St. Lucie police station.

"…`It must have had a lasting effect on her,' Feeney said. Many kids who won that much money would `be running to the mall, all delighted,' she said."

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