Tiffany Hatfield, 28, wasn’t planning on evacuating from her Ocoee home near Orlando, Florida, before Hurricane Irma hit, but her husband urged her to take the kids to a friend's house in Virginia. As she was driving to Virginia, Hatfield stopped off briefly in North Carolina, where she purchased two $5 scratch-off tickets. The family’s evacuation turned out to be a lucky choice as one of those tickets paid off in a big way.

Lucky evacuation for Florida family

As reported by the New York Daily News, Hatfield used to live in Connecticut, but while her husband is stationed in the U.S.

Navy in Hawaii, she decided to move with her three daughters to Ocoee, Florida to be close to her family.

When news of Hurricane Irma and evacuations came, Hatfield told ABC News that they were planning to stay put. However, her husband had arrived into port and had called her, saying he had seen Hurricane Irma and that she and the girls needed to leave right away. Hatfield put the girls in the car and left Florida at around 10 p.m. last Friday to drive to her friend’s home in Virginia.

According to Hatfield, traffic was heavy during the night with other people evacuating the area.

She said she drove right through the night and on Saturday morning stopped off at a convenience store “in the middle of nowhere” in Rocky Mount, NC. She said they all stretched their legs after the long drive and decided to buy the two scratch-off tickets.

Scratch-off ticket pays big for evacuated family

When she got back in the car and scratched the cards, one came up empty, but the other turned out to be a $10,000 lucky win.

Hatfield said at first she couldn’t believe what she was seeing and handed it to her eldest daughter, who immediately started screaming. She said they all started screaming after confirming she had won.

It was the weekend so the state lottery offices were all closed. Hatfield kept driving, keeping her lucky ticket close at hand.

She said she was scared she was going to lose it, adding she kept it in her wallet and kept checking on it regularly.

Family collects winnings on the way home to Florida

After spending time with her friend, Hatfield put the three girls back in the car to head back to Florida on Tuesday. Along the way they stopped off in Greenville, NC to visit a state lottery office. ABC News quotes a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Education Lottery as saying Hatfield went off with a check for $6,951, after state and federal taxes were deducted.

On arrival in Florida, Hatfield found she had lost power to her home, but fortunately had only suffered minor damage from Hurricane Irma, with some flooding in the yard and a downed tree.

The lucky lady now plans to use her surprise winnings to give their home a renovation, saying it is still so crazy how it happened, but it wound up so perfectly for the family.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!