Would you take the cash or the Camaro? For Kathy Long of Dickinson, there was never a question
There's "long odds" and then there's "Kathy Long odds."
Dickinson office worker, wife and mother Kathy Long has been coming up roses lately in life and in the gaming world after hitting the jackpot on a slot machine at Four Aces Casino in Deadwood, S.D., last weekend.
After taking a moment to let reality sink in, Long realized she had won her choice of a new yellow 2013 Chevrolet Camaro -- which was sitting at the casino -- or a cash option.
"I had just sat down and I put $2 in the machine," Kathy said. "After one pull, the machine started beeping and going crazy. It was very exciting."
Kathy leaned over to tell her husband, Levi Long, who was at a nearby table, the news. Within seconds, she had a host of gamers at Four Aces surrounding her.
"I told my husband 'I think I just won the car,'" Kathy said. "Everyone in the casino came over. People were taking my picture -- everyone was very excited and very nice."
Though Levi and Kathy's son, Matthew, who attends Bismarck State College, was more interested in the Camaro, Kathy decided against the wheels and went with the cash -- $16,000.
Kathy's luck at Four Aces is in addition to some recent good fortune in the game of life. After being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in late 2008, Matthew's cancer has been in remission since the eighth day of his treatment at Mayo Clinic nearly four years ago.
"Matthew is doing great," Kathy said. "Everything has been very positive. He had his yearly checkup Oct. 1 and everything came out great. Matthew is studying petroleum production at BSC and we're all very optimistic going forward. It's been a good year."
With Matthew already the owner of a 1979 Camaro, Kathy said her son second-guessed her on her decision to take the money, but she said it was never a dilemma for her.
"My husband and I have two newer vehicles, plus we don't have a garage," Kathy said. "It wasn't really a choice for me to take the cash. It's going in our savings, but I'm sure we'll take couple more trips to Four Aces."
Four Aces spokesperson Sarah Hansen said it was the first time in her year of working at the casino that somebody had won a vehicle.