May 21, 2001
ELDON MAN NABS MORE THAN A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS ON GAME SHOW
A 66-year-old Eldon man was in shock during last Tuesday’s taping of the Missouri Lottery’s "Fun & Fortune" game show after he won the game’s $250,000 top prize. Robert Spurgeon is the first contestant to win the new top prize, which increased from $100,000 to $250,000 on Jan. 9 to commemorate the Lottery’s 15th anniversary. The episode will air at 6 p.m. on June 2 in mid-Missouri on KMIZ-TV.
"This is crazy - I can’t believe it," Spurgeon told Lottery officials just moments after his win.
During the 281st game show taped on Tuesday, Spurgeon won $6,254 in the Nest Egg preliminary round and advanced to the championship round where he won $10,000. At that point, he had the choice to either keep the $10,000 or play "Mega Multiplier" for a chance to win prizes and cash up to $250,000. He chose to play, and ended up winning the top prize of $250,000, for a total game winnings of $256,254, the most ever won in the game show’s five-year history. He will return to the next taping on June 5 as the returning champion for a chance to win more cash and prizes.
Spurgeon, who is retired after owning Spurgeon Excavating in Macon, said he plans to use the money to help his five grown children. He may also by a newer pre-owned car.
In addition to Spurgeon’s big windfall, Zip Stop, 5995 Highway 54 in Osage Beach, will get a check for $12,812.70, an amount equal to 5 percent of Spurgeon’s winnings, for selling the qualifying ticket.
Prior to Spurgeon’s win on Tuesday, the most ever won by a game show contestant was $161,241, won by mid-Missourian Ed Oberdieck of Camdenton during four separate appearances during 1998 and 1999. Other big winners were: Don Reynolds of Wellington, who won $159,747 in January 1997; Hazel Garriott of Fulton, who won $159,213 in May 1996; and Billie Jean Schroeder of Wellington, who won $158,533 in July 1996.
To become a contestant on "Fun & Fortune," buy a "Fun & Fortune" Scratchers ticket. If any of "YOUR NUMBERS" match any of the "WINNING NUMBERS" and the prize won is a television symbol, you are automatically a contestant. If your prize won is an "ENTRY," mail it to the Lottery’s weekly drawing for a chance to become a contestant or home partner. Home partners win an amount equal to 10 percent of their stage partner’s cash winnings for that show.