April 15, 2008
Branson Man Claims $4 Million Instant Prize
A Branson man is planning for his children’s future after he became the second winner of the biggest Scratchers prize ever awarded in the Missouri Lottery’s history. Kriston Parker, 37, won the $4 million prize when he scratched off a $20 "4 Million Dollar Cash Bonanza" Scratchers ticket on April 5. Parker claimed his prize on April 11.
Parker said he stopped by 76 Express, 3305 W. 76 Highway in Branson, to use the restroom and to cash in a winning $50 Scratchers ticket.
"I usually buy my tickets in threes," Parker said. "I don’t know why, but I do. I just about took the $50 in cash, but I went ahead and threw in another $10 and got three tickets again."
It was the third Scratchers ticket he purchased that proved to be worth $4 million.
"God is good!" Parker exclaimed when he cashed in his winning ticket. "Who would’ve thought that needing to use the restroom would have led to this?"
Parker said he scratched off his winning ticket later while he was in his car. At first he thought the winning ticket was worth $4,000.
"I started jumping up and down in my car because I thought I won $4,000," Parker said. "I wanted to run up to the Springfield office to cash it in, but it was the weekend. I went ahead and finished scratching off the ticket, and then I had to count the zeros. I couldn’t believe it. It was unbelievable. I had to keep counting the zeros because I couldn’t believe it."
Parker said he called his mom and dad right away and told them about his unexpected prize.
"They are so happy for me," he said. "Everyone has been so happy. It’s been great!"
Parker, who works as an off-property consultant in Branson, said the best thing about his win is the chance to take care of his children’s future.
As the father of three children, Parker said he’s looking forward to setting up college funds for them.
"It’s my kids’ future that is the big thing here," he said. "Cars, weddings and college - that all will be taken care of now."
Parker said he also plans to use his winnings to "give back" to some organizations that have helped him and his family in the past, as well as his church.
Parker plans to take his prize as one lump sum, which will amount to $2,649,000, before taxes.
Parker said he also plans to buy himself a new home, a newer vehicle and a new set of golf clubs.
The $20 game, “4 Million Dollar Cash Bonanza,” officially began on Jan. 26. It is the Lottery’s first $20 game and offers the highest prize payout ever on a Scratchers game. It includes four $4 million prizes and 16 $1 million prizes. Parker is the 28th instant Missouri Lottery millionaire and the 251st millionaire overall.