December 31, 2007
Kansas City Man Wins $3.1 Million Lotto Jackpot
A Kansas City man is planning to pay off his house and finish working on his vacation house at the Lake of the Ozarks after winning the Dec. 8 Lotto jackpot worth $3.1 million. Paul Bunich, 52, purchased his ticket at Hy-Vee Food/Drug Store, 8301 N. St. Clair Ave. in Kansas City, the day of the drawing when he was there buying groceries. His winning numbers were 10, 12, 14, 18, 34 and 37.
"I went over to the customer service desk and told the guy, ’I need a winning ticket,’" Bunich said.
He went back to Hy-Vee on Dec. 15 to get groceries again and told the clerk the same thing - that he wanted a winning ticket. After finishing his grocery shopping, Bunich stopped for gas on his way home and checked the $5 Quick Pick Lotto ticket from Dec. 8 that he had in his glove box. His first four plays were non-winning.
"The last one flashed the amount for a second," Bunich said. "I thought it was $3,100 at first. I checked it at least three times. I was a little fuzzy. I came home and checked it again. I thought, ’I can’t believe this.’"
Bunich didn’t tell his girlfriend, Ruth Guise, 56, right away. He wanted to be sure the ticket was definitely a winner. Guise works for American Airlines at Kansas City International Airport. Following the Dec. 8 Lotto drawing, her co-workers were talking about hearing that someone who shops at Hy-Vee Food/Drug Store had won the $3.1 million jackpot, and she later told Bunich about the conversation.
"I told her that was me," Bunich said.
Bunich, who has worked in the railroad industry since 1973, is sharing some of his prize money with Guise and with his sister Mary Fiatte, 48, of Lenexa, Kan. Guise claimed $200,000 of the prize, and Fiatte claimed $50,000. Bunich has 60 days from the drawing to decide if he will take the lump sum cash option worth $2,033,804 or the annuity option, which would be spread out over 25 annual payments. Bunich thinks he will take the cash option of the $3.1 million prize.
In addition to Bunich’s prize, Hy-Vee Food/Drug Store will receive a check equal to 1 percent of the jackpot amount, which is $31,000, for selling the winning ticket.
Bunich’s prize is the 170th Lotto jackpot and the 240th overall jackpot since the Lottery began in 1986.