2007-09-19 16:21:24.397

Rogers, Ark., Man Finds $250,000 Top Prize

Story Photo A usual stop for iced tea and a Scratchers ticket made a Rogers, Ark., man $250,000 richer after he uncovered the top prize on a Missouri Lottery "$250,000 Mega Cash" Scratchers ticket on Sept. 12. James "Mike" Pierce, 44, an outside salesman for Shipley Motor Equipment, said he normally stops by Qwik Stop, 812 E. Highway 60 in Monett, to buy a cup of iced tea and a Scratchers ticket. "I won $10 on a ’Deal or No Deal’ (Scratchers ticket), and I handed the ticket back over to the clerk and told her to give me a winning $10 ticket," Pierce said. "I started to scratch it off and thought I won $10 at first, and then I finished scratching off more zeros. I can’t really repeat what I said then." Pierce said when he saw a second big prize on the same ticket he started shaking so bad that he couldn’t finish scratching the ticket. The owners of the business, Danny and Janice Byrd, saw what was happening and they helped him finish scratching off the ticket. Pierce said he called his wife, Debbie, to tell her the good news. "She called me a liar at first, and I said, ’Does my voice ever sound this shaky?’" Pierce said. "I think she believes me now." After scratching off the top prize in the game, Pierce continued on his sales route with a stop by the Lottery’s office in Springfield to turn in his winning ticket. "When I leave here, I’ve got to finish my route," Pierce said. "I’ve got customers I have to call on. It made for a great Wednesday, though." Pierce said he and Debbie haven’t had the chance to discuss what they will do with his winnings, but he did plan to help their two children, maybe take a trip to the Caribbean and invest for his retirement. Qwik Stop, the lucky Monett business, also sold a winning $4.3 million Lotto ticket for the Oct. 2, 1999, drawing. The $10 game "$250,000 Mega Cash" began on Jan. 31. It offers 30 top prizes of $250,000 and more than $100 million in cash prizes. Pierce’s prize was the 12th top prize claimed in the game.

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