January 4, 2007
Springfield Mom, Business Owner Uncovers Lifetime Riches
A Springfield mom’s Christmas gift from her son turned out to be worth $50,000 a year for life. Carolyn McNeal, 43, said one of the gifts her 25-year-old son, Adam, gave her on Christmas Eve was three Missouri Lottery Scratchers tickets. She won $15 on one of those tickets, and a few days later on New Year’s Eve, she went to Kum & Go, 1313 W. Battlefield Road in Springfield, to buy some milk for her husband. While she was there, she redeemed the $15 Scratchers prize and used the prize money to buy milk and one $10 "Lifetime Riches" Scratchers ticket. When she scratched the ticket in her van in the parking lot, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
"I went in and asked Paul (clerk), ’Can you cash this in for me?’" she recalled, giggling. "He looked at it, and he looked at me, and he looked at the ticket, and he yelled as loud as he could, ’Happy New Year!’"
McNeal, who owns Heartland Books in Springfield with her husband, Gary, said they will use the prize money to pay off their house, pay off some bills and invest the remainder. She also said she will "take care of" her son, Adam, who gave her the tickets. She also plans to take Adam and his wife on a trip. McNeal said she plans to take the cash value of the prize, which is $800,000 before taxes.
"This is my one chance in a lifetime to take care of mine and his (husband’s) future, and that’s what I’m going to do," she said.
"We promised our son and his wife that we’re taking them to Vegas this summer," said McNeal. "It’s going to be on me."
McNeal’s ticket is the second "Lifetime Riches" top-prize winning ticket sold in Springfield. On April 22, 2006, Scott and Candace Pritchett of Houston uncovered the first "Lifetime Riches" top prize on a ticket they purchased at Kum & Go, 5384 S. Campbell in Springfield.
To date, 224 Missouri Lottery tickets worth $1 million or more have been sold in the Lottery’s nearly 21 years of sales. Of those winning tickets, 18 were from Scratchers games, six of which were from the "Lifetime Riches" game. There are still four top prizes of $50,000 a year for life left in the game.
The "Lifetime Riches" game, which officially started April 22, 2006, has the highest payout in the Lottery’s history and offers more than $100 million in cash prizes, including 10 top prizes of $50,000 a year for life. More than 75.62 percent of the $10 game’s sales will be returned to players as prizes.