November 9, 2006
Arkansas Man Uncovers $77,000 Prize
Michael Bajorek of Jacksonville, Ark., is $77,000 richer after he uncovered the top prize in the Missouri Lottery Scratchers game "Ruby Red 7’s." Bajorek, 46, purchased his lucky ticket at Wild Bill’s Travel Center, 3799 Ridgedale Road in Ridgedale, on his way home from visiting his daughter in Branson.
"It’s been a great trip," Bajorek said.
Bajorek and his wife, Tonja, purchased one $5 Scratchers ticket that turned out to be a non-winner. Tonja went back into the store and bought two more $2 tickets and one $5 "Ruby Red 7’s" ticket.
After revealing the symbol indicating that he had won all 20 prizes on the ticket, Bajorek couldn’t believe his eyes as he scratched the rest of the ticket. The Bajoreks sat outside of the store to collect themselves before going back in to have the clerk check the ticket.
"It was the real deal," Bajorek said. "We turned around and came back to Springfield. The whole drive I was numb."
Bajorek said it was easy to decide what to do with the prize money.
"We’re going to start building a house in April or May," Bajorek said. "We’ve been saving for a year. This will make it a lot easier."
Bajorek has four grown children and one child still in school. He plans to put back some of the prize to help with college tuition.
"Ruby Red 7’s" is a $5 game that officially began on Sept. 14.