Gastonia’s Anna Cleveland puts working The Gaston Gazette’s Cashword Cash-In! puzzle on her Sunday “to-do list” right behind doing the laundry and cleaning the bathroom.
“It just a thing I do as a matter of course. It’s a habit,” said the substitute school teacher. “It’s probably good for my brain.”
And her pocketbook.
Cleveland took home a $7,000 win by solving the May 17 Cashword Cash-In!, a puzzle that has appeared for decades in The Gazette’s Sunday edition.
A longtime subscriber to The Gazette, Cleveland remembers the puzzle being in the paper when she was still in grade school.
“If I don’t give it a shot, I can’t win,” she said. “It comes with the subscription so I figure I might as well try and win some money.”
Cleveland’s prize marks the fifth highest dollar amount since The Gazette has included the puzzle in Sunday’s paper. She’s tried for years, and this time feels she was blessed.
“I can truly say I’ve tried every way to solve the puzzle over the years,” she said. “I’ve looked up words in the dictionary. I’ve done it logically and I’ve done it illogically.
And the money comes at the right time for Cleveland, who was put out of work by the worldwide pandemic.
“My job went away so this will definitely help matters,” she said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time.”
The puzzle appears in The Gazette each Sunday and starts off with a $300 jackpot, growing by $100 each week that no one solves the puzzle. In this case, it had been more than a year since someone solved the puzzle by getting every answer right.