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Lottery Win Comes Just In Time For Litchfield Couple

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- An impulse buy paid off big time for a Minnesota farrier.

Joe Yanish of Litchfield rarely plays the lottery, but last month he had a few extra dollars and bought two tickets at a gas station near St. Cloud.

He ended up winning $1 million, but it was not the first stroke of luck for this horseshoe expert.

Legend has it horseshoes symbolize luck. And even though Joe says he is not a superstitious person, good fortune has come his way.

"Have a couple of bucks in my pocket and I bought two tickets and one of them happened to be the lucky ticket," Joe said.

Erin Yanish says she was composed when she heard the news, but her husband could not contain his excitement.

"He was jumping around singing the 'Willy Wonka' song, 'I got a golden ticket!'" Erin said.

Joe And Erin Yanish
Joe And Erin Yanish (credit: CBS)

But the couple quickly got focused.

"As soon as we got done looking at the ticket, we sat down and prayed, and said, 'Please Lord, help us do what is right,'" he said.

This humble attitude comes from a couple who has recently spent a lot of time in prayer. After years of dialysis and waiting on the transplant list, Erin found out last July she was getting a new pancreas and kidney. It was this gift that they will always remember.

"Won the lottery with my organs and now we've been blessed with some more money to share and do what's right with it," Erin said.

What is right, they say, is to keep living and working as they always have.

"Honestly it's not my money. We've been blessed with that money and we try to be the best stewards of that money that we can be," Joe said.

They are a lucky couple who won millions, but found fortune elsewhere.

"I won the lottery when I found Joe," Erin said. "I won the lottery with my faith."

Erin's hospital bills are mounting, but the couple will now be able to pay off that debt. They will also build a small house on their farm, buy a new work truck and take a family trip to a Disney theme park.

But their first priority is to tithe the money, and they are setting some aside to be able to help other families who end up in similar medical crises.

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