SALEM, Ore.–

This year’s Thanksgiving began as a normal workday for Karen Crider, a mother of three and a waitress at Shari’s.

After returning home from her work, Crider decided to visit the Keizer Old Navy to take advantage of the store’s early sales. Her family planned to celebrate the holiday later that weekend.

Crider arrived at Old Navy and was given a game piece – a token given to each of the first 100 people lined up at every Old Navy store across the country. The game piece allowed these early shoppers to enter in the Overnight Millionaire Sweepstakes.

“I’m always entering things like that,” Crider told The Oregonian. “I’m like, maybe I’ll get a chance. I never think I’ll win.”

When she received a phone call from an Old Navy representative the next day, Crider couldn’t believe her luck.

“I just didn’t think it was true,” she said. “I thought it was phony.”

But the $1 million prize was real. Enough to send Crider and her family of eight on a much needed vacation to Disney World. A larger house and car are also in the family’s future plans.

Crider is grateful for this extra blessing which will allow her to continue working at the job she loves with peace of mind.

“It just means a change and a different lifestyle,” she said. “[We’ll] be able to relax more . . . I feel very blessed.”

When not writing, Sierra can be found conducting experiments in the chemistry lab or whipping up delectable creations in her kitchen. With a passion for storytelling, Sierra puts her natural curiosity to use investigating enlightening angles for news and events here at The Oregon Optimist.