Crawley: Luck comes in many different forms
Published 3:00 am Thursday, December 31, 2015
While other shoppers were loading their shopping carts with fresh turnips, collards and black-eyed peas, Willie Pearl Crawley didn’t even look toward the greens.
“I don’t cook greens,” she said. “I’ll eat them if somebody else cooks them. But I’m not going to fool with washing and cooking any greens.”
Crawley shunned the idea that unless she ate greens and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day she wouldn’t have money or good fortune during the year.
To that, she laughed.
Crawley reached in her purse and pulled out a yellowing and wrinkled piece of paper.
“This is all the good fortune I needed,” she said, with a big grin and a twinkle in her eye. “This is what I know about good luck.”
Crawley unfolded the paper and held it in front of her.
The paper was a copy of a check dated July 15, 2004. It was made out to Willie Pearl Crawley in the amount of $154,904.08.
She smiled again.
“I put 75 cents in the slot machine at Victoryland and I won $165,000,” Crawley said. “The window came up 777. I hit the jackpot and won all that money. And, I didn’t eat collard greens to get it.”
Crawley said taxes were taken out of her jackpot but she didn’t mind turning that money loose.
“I still had a lot of money,” she said. “I called my children and told them I had hit the jackpot and, before I could get back to Troy everybody knew about it. I was a celebrity.”
Crawley, who was a hairdresser in Troy, had a good business and the money didn’t mean all the much to her.
“I gave it away,” she said of her jackpot winnings. “I had a big car and I was working. I didn’t need all that money. I don’t have any of it now and that’s all right with me. I liked winning it. That was fun. I put in 75 cents and hit the jackpot. A lot of people try to win big. I didn’t even try.”
Crawley laughed at the thought of people trying to bring good luck and good fortune into their lives by eating greens and black-eyed peas cooked with hog jowl on New Year’s Day.
Black-eyed peas are thought to bring good luck and greens – turnips, collards or mustard – will bring wealth.
“Greens are a mess to cook and I’ve had good luck and I had wealth for a little while,” Crawley said.
“I don’t need either one now so I’ll just eat peanut butter and jelly on New Year’s and that will be all right with me.”