A Branford mom found her late son’s name in a lottery ticket, and it was a winner in more ways than one.
Amy Johansson misses her son, Eric, deeply.
"He walked into the room and he lit it up,” she said. “He gives his shirt off his back. He loves his family, and he loves his friends.”
Eric died five years ago from substance abuse. He was just 24 years old.
“It changes you,” said Johansson. “Part of me, my heart, died with him.”
Amy stills sees signs of Eric in her everyday life, but none quite as clear as the message in a lottery ticket she purchased last week.
“I started scratching and I could see my son’s name.” she said. “E-R-I-C. I knew I was going to win something.”
“That much money, too,” she said. “It was mind blowing.”
Not only is Eric’s name on the ticket, but the word “love” is, too. Amy will use the winnings to support Smile Anyway, an organization she started as a tribute to Eric.
“It’s a nonprofit that is educating and raising awareness on the drug epidemic in our area,” she said.
Amy says if she can save another mother from what she went through that would be the biggest jackpot of all.
“Our loved ones are always with us, watching over us,” Johansson said. “I can’t think of a better way, or a stronger sign of it, then that lottery ticket.”