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Woman who organized winning lottery pool dies of brain tumor

December 17, 1997

ROBY, Texas (AP) _ Peggy Terry Dickson, who organized the lottery pool that made millionaires out of 43 people in and around this western Texas town, has died of a brain tumor. She was 49.

Mrs. Dickson, who won a share of the $46.7 million Texas Lottery jackpot along with 21 relatives, died Tuesday in Abilene at Hendrick Medical Center, a day after undergoing a second operation to remove cancerous cells from her brain.

Her illness was diagnosed on the day before Thanksgiving, the one-year anniversary of the lottery windfall. Her death came one day before the first anniversary of the bus trip that the winners took to Austin to claim the first of their 20 installment payments. Each was to be paid $39,000 a year.

Mrs. Dickson worked as a bookkeeper at the family-owned Terry Gin, where she organized the lottery pool by calling relatives and inviting anyone who dropped by the cotton gin that day to buy into the pot for $10.

After she and the others in this farming community hit the jackpot, she continued working and drove her same old car until her mother, Emma Faye Terry, another of the winners, bought her a new van.

On Dec. 2, Mrs. Dickson underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor. But cancer cells apparently had spread from the first tumor and surgeons operated again on Monday.

She awoke after surgery and was able to speak with family and ministers but later lapsed into a coma from which she never regained consciousness.

Her death came the same day as the announcement that a one-hour special on the ``Roby Millionaires″ will be shown on the CBS program ``48 Hours,″ to air Jan. 8.

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