Remembering Detroit’s “Lottery Lady” Aggie Usedly

Michigan legend, Aggie Usedly was in every Michigan home at 7:29 pm every night for decades. I’m a bit choked up because I always think of my mom whenever I see Aggie. My mom worked the evening shift at General Motors and always called home at 7:30 for the lottery, so every time I saw Aggie, I knew mom’s chipper voice was only a minute away. And if mom was lucky, more often than not, I’d hear a cheerful hoot, “Ah ha! Thank you, Lord!”

It also helps that they had the exact same hairstyle and coloring for decades. “Aggie got touchups this week! Lord, let me run to K-Mart real quick before they close,” mom would say early Sunday afternoon before her ritual shopping run for a box of L’oreal’s “ash blonde.”

Then there was Aggie in the summertime. Evening curfew was at 7:30 on my block, so when the kids heard Aggie’s voice blaring on television sets up and down the street, it was time for us to hightail it home. The university’s clocktower also chimed right as she bid Michiganders good night, which was also our absolute last chance to be inside. Not walking up the street, not strolling up the driveway, not putting the bike in the garage. Inside the house, period.

If my dad had to come fetch me after he had hung up from telling mom the evening lottery numbers…. Nope, not entertaining that thought. Happy memories only.

Speaking of happy memories, for my folks at least, I was born at 7:30 p.m. on a Monday. My dad always said he and mom didn’t win the lottery that night, but they did hit the jackpot. And while Aggie wouldn’t get the job of being “Michigan’s Vanna White” until four years later, I can’t help but imagine my mom and dad glued to the television, hinged on her every word as the doctor proclaimed, “Congratulations, it’s a girl!”

Thanks, Aggie, for decades of warm smiles. I hereby declare you patron saint of hopeful blue collar workers and factory lottery pools.

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