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Holiday Tradition, LOVE and LOTTERY

Holiday Instant Game Winner
Susan Vernicek
Written by Susan Vernicek

A week doesn’t go by where I’m not inspired to write an article about my dear father, who I lost almost 3 years ago. I feel blessed that every time I think of him I shed a tear, yet I also grin so wide that my cheeks disappear.

Christmas miracles lie within the memories each of us create with our loved ones. I’d love to share with you one of the most precious and poignant memories my own family inadvertently formed—one that became a yearly holiday tradition:

A week doesn’t go by where I’m not inspired to write an article about my dear father, who I lost almost 2 years ago. I feel blessed that every time I think of him I shed a tear, yet I also grin so wide that my cheeks disappear. My dad’s spirit is always a shining inspiration to me, no more so, though, then during the holiday season.

I remember the day when my father and mother scratched off their New Jersey Lottery tickets on Christmas Day about a decade ago. It was within moments that I saw the twinkle in my father’s eyes. He would always check and re-check the tickets before he would declare whether he was a winner or not.

But about ten years ago turned out differently. After scratching off the ticket, my Mother and father’s reactions showed a real jolt of excitement as they shouted out loud that it was a $1,000 winner! Within seconds my Dad had the whole family review the ticket in question just to make sure he and my mother truly were New Jersey Lottery Holiday winners.

Copyright-SusanVernicekWe were all so excited about the memorable moment, that, from that day on, we began a family tradition of purchasing lottery tickets. A decade later, a Christmas doesn’t go by during which lottery tickets aren’t a key element: In fact, we used to gather for lottery and brunch once a month just to re-enact and celebrate that wonderful event. Notice how I say ‘lottery’ before ‘brunch’—the main ingredient. The entire family would all contribute ten dollars a month to Instant Games and spend quality time together, loving and bonding and creating more memories.

For me, lottery tickets have a much deeper meaning than monetary gain. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t pray and wish on every single occasion I scratch off a New Jersey Lottery ticket that I’m a lucky winner, but, as evidenced by my family story, there is certainly way more to it than winning dollars and cents.

Gifting lottery tickets can also make holiday giving simple and stress free. But, even more important, they provide the intangible gifts of inspiration, dreams, excitement, hope, faith, and most of all, they help create lasting memories.

There are numerous ways to craft unique and memorable gift ideas, but one of my favorites is to stock up on distinctive ornaments and give each out together with a lottery ticket —a perfect gift: affordable and inspired. You must be 18 or older to buy a lottery ticket. The New Jersey Lottery reminds players, it’s only a game…remember to play responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1800-GAMBLER®.

Locate Holiday Instant games at any brick and mortar Lottery retailer like Quick Check, or Wawa. For more information visit New Jersey Lottery


Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I hate the fact that I have to accept memories of my father and not his physical presence. I miss him tremendously.  Love you Dad.

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I appreciate all the memories I have of my father and all that he has taught us through the years.  I’m very proud of our family and all of the success each and every one of us have.

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

Today, the love that I am able to give and provide my family.

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

I feel that sometimes my expectations are too high, which leaves me disappointed more often…which THEN reveals more internal work. LOL. It’s a cycle.

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my father and the memories of holiday lottery!

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About the author

Susan Vernicek

Susan Vernicek

Facts about Susan Vernicek:
• She’s happily married and a mother of 3.5 year old twins.

• She’s tried almost every fad diet back in her quick-fix days, admits at age 36 it’s a struggle to work hard on overall balance and is focused on not giving into the unhealthy fads we see daily.

• She’s all natural with natural blonde hair, uneven breasts, a bigger nose, and full of curves that she learns to appreciate more and more each day.

• She had a career where part of her job was staring at herself 40 hours a week manipulating her very own face as well as others.

• She’s the youngest of 7, ranging from 36-55+, an Aunt, Great Aunt and even younger than some of her nieces and nephews!

• She’s traveled and seen over 8 countries and spent a summer in London finding her passion and embracing life.

• She created S&J Identity, Inc. AKA, having no business background and at the age of 25.

•She's a certified Holistic Health Coach and Diamond BeachBody Coach

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