2006-08-01 16:50:45.653

Van Buren Woman Wins Top Lottery Prize

Story Photo A Van Buren caregiver’s intuition led her to a $20,000 Missouri Lottery prize. Erma Hardwick, 60, claimed the top prize in the Scratchers game "Cash Roulette" on Aug. 1.
Hardwick went to Smalley’s Liquor and Grocery, 705 Main St. in Van Buren, on July 31 to cash a winning Scratchers ticket. She got two more tickets, which turned out to be non-winning. She started to leave the store, but decided to go back and purchase one $2 "Cash Roulette" ticket.
After scratching her ticket in the store, Hardwick thought she had won $2,000 and started to get excited. The clerk at the store was one of Hardwick’s co-workers at Riverways Manor, a nursing home in Van Buren where Hardwick is a certified nurses aide (CNA). The clerk asked to see the ticket and told Hardwick that she had won a much larger prize - the $20,000 top prize.
"It feels great," Hardwick said.
 Hardwick plans to use her prize to pay off her vacation home in Hardy, Ark. She is also considering getting a different car.
"Cash Roulette" officially began on March 25.

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