A church in Georgia that had been worshipping without air-conditioning due to a burglary was “thrilled” as it found a winning lottery ticket worth $80,000 placed in the offering plate.
Someone left a winning lottery ticket as offering at the Cathedral of Prayer in Columbus, Ga., around three weeks after thieves broke into the church and stole the copper from the air conditioning unit, NPR reported Saturday.
Although the church teaches against gambling, it accepted the winning ticket as offering and claimed the price from the Georgia Lottery’s Columbus District Office, according to the Georgia Lottery website.
“God said ‘a blessing is a blessing,’” The Associated Press quoted Alonzo Riggins, the church’s security director, as saying. “No one at the church plays the lottery, so it had to be from someone from the outside,” he said.
“Everything comes from God, everything is a blessing however we received it, and it’s a blessing I’m not telling anybody to go out and gamble but however God gave it to you then receives it as that,” wsfa.com quoted Riggins as saying. “I haven’t found out yet and I’m not going to ask that question unless it’s given to me as a direct order to figure out where it came from.”
Chief financial officer Gloria Rodgers told Georgia Lottery everybody in the church was “just thrilled” and “thankful.”
“It’s an excellent thing. People in the community have come by and put lottery winnings in the offering through the years.” However, this was the largest single donation the church had received, she added.
Part of the amount, Rodgers said, would go toward fixing the air conditioning unit.
“The money is going towards the church and we have to supply the food for the neighborhood, the clothing, everything costs and we give this stuff away free,” Riggins said. The church is run by the Cathedral of Prayer Inc, a non-profit organization.
The winning ticket costing $3 and called “Lemon Doubler Cashword” was bought at a Columbus convenience store.