A little kitten leads to a big lottery win for a Tacoma man

Aug 26, 2023, 12:00 PM

Image: Tacoma postal worker Joseph Waldherr, right, won over $717,000 in Washington's Lottery in 20...

Tacoma postal worker Joseph Waldherr, right, won over $717,000 in Washington's Lottery in 2023 right after he found a small kitten at work. (Photo: KIRO 7)

(Photo: KIRO 7)

A little lost kitten led to a big lottery win for Tacoma postal worker.

As Washington’s Lottery explained in a press statement Thursday, the story began when Joseph Waldherr got to work one day and heard a cat meowing. Initially, he couldn’t find the animal.

The next day, after he heard the meowing again, he found and rescued the kitten from the small space it was trapped in. Waldherr put his new little friend in the pocket of his sweatshirt, where it slept for the rest of his shift.

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Feeling lucky about his feline find, the lottery said Waldherr decided at the end of his day to stop at his local convenience store to buy a $1 Hit 5 ticket from Washington’s Lottery.

Days later, he scanned the ticket on his phone, looked up the winning numbers online and discovered he won $717,500.

According to Washington’s Lottery, Waldherr plans to save some of his winnings while also helping his parents with their home so they can continue with their retirement. He also plans to make donations to several charities.

“My wife and I have everything we need,” he said. “We just want to help others.”

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The couple said they kept the kitten and named her “Peaches” because of her peach-colored cheeks.

“(Waldherr) and his wife decided they had to keep the kitten because it was their good luck charm,” Kristi Weeks, Washington’s Lottery’s director of legal services, said, according to KIRO Newsradio.

Steve Coogan is the lead editor for MyNorthwest.com. Kate Stone is a reporter for KIRO Newsradio.

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A little kitten leads to a big lottery win for a Tacoma man