What started as a routine trip for gas turned into an early Christmas gift for Sheryl Hawkins, 52, of Bellflower. She and her husband, Delmar, stopped by the Mini Market at 16 South Highway 67 in Hawk Point on Nov. 25 to fill their tank, as they had done countless times before. As is also her habit, she requested that Delmar “go get me a Bingo card” while they were there.
The outcome this time, however, would soon put Mrs. Hawkins in a particularly festive holiday mood as her “Jingle Bell Bingo” Scratchers ticket contained a $10,003 prize. According to her husband though, she originally “thought she had won just $303. She thought that all night.”
It was only when the pair stopped the next morning on the way to work to cash in the ticket at another local retailer that they learned its true value. Delmar presented the winning ticket to the clerk, who then quickly scanned it and shared the good news.
He laughed while recalling his wife’s puzzled expression when he returned to the vehicle.
“She couldn’t figure out why I was bringing the ticket back out to the car,” he said.
Delighted at their unexpected good news, the Hawkins continued on to work at Jonesburg Nursing & Rehabilitation, where they have both worked for many years. They called Missouri Lottery headquarters to find out what to do next and filled in curious co-workers.
“They took pictures of the winning ticket,” Delmar explained of their colleagues. Sheryl noted that they also began teasing her with such questions as, “Did you draw my name for Christmas?”
Those hopeful co-workers will have to get in line behind the couple’s grandchildren, though. While the Hawkins plan to pay some bills with the money, Sheryl quickly added that they also “want to make sure the grandkids have a really good Christmas.”
"Jingle Bell Bingo," a $3 game with a top prize of $50,000, officially began on Oct. 25.