2009-01-13 15:11:04.387

Persistence Pays Off for Norborne Couple

Story Photo A Norborne couple is starting the new year $70,187 richer after discovering they held the winning Missouri Lottery Show Me Cash ticket from the Jan. 3 drawing.  Gary and Mary Ellen Walker have been playing a combination of family member’s birthdays and their anniversary for years, but it wasn’t until recently that they "hit big."

"We have played the same numbers for as long as I can remember," revealed Gary.  "When the lady at the store checked the ticket and told me I won, I started screaming, ’Oh my God, oh my God!’"

Gary, who purchased the winning ticket from Casey’s General Store, Highway 10 in Norborne, immediately drove home to tell his wife the news.

"Gary pulled up and got out of the car with tears running down his face," remembered Mary Ellen.  "He could barely talk, but I could tell he was saying ’We won, we won!’"

Mary Ellen sensed Gary was referring to the Lottery, because earlier that morning he had informed his wife that he planned to check his ticket at the store.  According to Mary Ellen, she "threw her arms around her husband in the driveway."

"I feel like we’ve been so blessed," said Mary Ellen.  "We’ve been through a lot over the past 32 years of marriage.  I was diagnosed with cancer some years ago, but I survived.  Now we win the Lottery after all the years of playing the same numbers!"

The win was a very "happy start" to 2009 for the Walkers, who noted they had a few plans for the prize money that included purchasing a new car, refrigerator and golf cart.

"We live in a really flat town, and everyone here drives a golf cart.  We’ve been thinking about getting a golf cart since ’85, but never got one.  Now we’re going to buy one!"

Show Me Cash offers a rolling jackpot starting at $50,000, which increases by at least $5,000 at each drawing.  The Walkers were the 15th Show Me Cash jackpot winners since the game began on Sept. 8. 

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