2004-12-30 19:20:51.0

Joplin Man Wins $24,000 Scratchers Prize

Story Photo A Joplin man didn?t waste any time getting to the Missouri Lottery office in Springfield to collect his $24,000 prize after winning the top prize in the ?24 Karat Cash? Scratchers game. Gilbert Johnston, 47, said he stopped in Black Market Fireworks, 3648 W. 7th St. in Joplin, on Dec. 29 to buy one Scratchers ticket. He scratched the ticket in the parking lot of the business. ?I couldn?t believe what I was seeing,? Johnston told lottery officials when he claimed his prize. ?I think I almost passed out. When the stars went away, I took (the ticket) back in to have the clerk check it. When they told me for sure what I?d won, I just said, ?I?m going to Springfield.?? Johnston, who is self employed, said he plans to put his winnings in the bank for now. ?24 Karat Cash,? a $2 game, officially went on sale Dec. 8.

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