Save a kitten, win the lottery? Tacoma man credits good deed with $717,500 payout
Joseph Waldherr was outside the spot where he picks up mail and packages for his daily deliveries when he first heard it — the urgent meowing of a trapped kitten.
Waldherr, a postal worker from Tacoma, looked everywhere for the source of the sound, but he couldn’t locate it and had to get on with his day.
When he returned the next day, he heard the same meowing. This time, he was determined.
After extensive searching, he discovered a tiny black-and-white kitten with peach-colored cheeks, stuck in a tight spot that Waldherr could barely reach.
He put the kitten in the pocket of his sweatshirt, where it quieted down.
On his way home that evening, with the kitten still nestled in his sweatshirt, Waldherr stopped at his local convenience store on a whim.
“I’m having a lucky day,” he thought. “Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.”
That hunch turned into a $717,500 Hit 5 payout for Waldherr. That’s half of the $1.4 million July 31 jackpot, which Waldherr split with another winning ticket. The payout is close to the game’s biggest payout of $1.6 million.
Waldherr said he and his wife credit the win to the kitten, who they have named Peaches and plan to keep.
As for the money, Waldherr said he plans to save some of it, help his parents with their home so they can live more comfortably in retirement, and donate to several charities.
“My wife and I have everything we need,” he said. “We just want to help others.”