A December to Remember for Newlyweds [VIDEO]


Owings Mills Couple Wins $250,000 Mega Millions Prize

This past December proved to be a whirlwind month for Debra Opper, a 51-year-old help desk associate who works for the Social Security Administration in Baltimore. Not only did she marry the love of her life, Hassan Manafikhalesi, but she also won a $250,000 second-tier Mega Millions prize from the December 28th’s drawing.

“I’m still in shock,” she said. “I purchased my ticket on Christmas Eve and went to midnight mass,” she said. “But I fell and hit my head that night, ended up getting eight stitches and forgot all about the ticket.” Almost one week later, Debra remembered. “When I  stopped by the store,  the clerk told me there was a big winning ticket sold there and that’s when I pulled out my Mega Millions tickets to see if I had won.”  Debra, a regular customer, was elated to learn that she was, in fact, the winner.

Debra and her mom regularly played the Lottery together.  “We’d take a few bucks each week and play a variety of Lottery games, hoping we’d strike it rich,” she said. “Sadly, my mom passed away this past November.” She believes her late mother had something to do with her win. “My win came almost exactly a month after she passed away. It makes me smile to think that she had a hand in that.”

“We are very excited that Debby won,” said Rocco, manager of the One Stop Convenience in Reisterstown where the winning ticket was sold.  “She’s been coming in the store for years and is such a sweet, deserving lady.”  For selling the winning ticket, the retailer  will receive a $1,000 commission.

The newlyweds said that they plan to use some of the money to pay bills, buy cars for Debby’s twin daughters, help Hassan start a taxi service and take a long-awaited honeymoon cruise.

Debra Opper Mega Millions

Newlyweds Debra Opper and Hassan Manafikhalesi celebrate their big win.