Twenty-five may just be Connie Rector’s new favorite number. After all, it was while returning from an excursion to St. Louis to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary that the Bloomsdale woman scratched her way to a $25,000 prize.
Rector, 44, who works in customer service at the Tab Shoppe in Ste. Genevieve, owes her surprise anniversary gift to a spur-of-the-moment purchase of a Missouri Lottery “Merry Money” Scratcher’s ticket on Dec. 19.
She and her husband, Glenn, had stopped to get a cup of coffee as they returned from the city, where they had also done a little last-minute Christmas shopping. While paying for their coffee, Glenn urged her to pick out a Scratchers ticket. She recalled “leaning over the counter to look at all the tickets” before settling on “Merry Money.”
Upon returning to her car and scratching the ticket, she soon learned it was a very good decision.
Rector admits her husband “had to take over” and finish scratching her ticket once she realized she had won at least $10,000.
“I was nervous and excited all at once; and a lot in shock,” she said.
With all the scratching done - and the top $25,000 prize revealed - the couple kept their winning ticket in a safe until they were able to make it to a Lottery office to claim their prize.
When asked about future plans for the unexpected anniversary present, she noted a very practical plan.
“We’re going to put it in the bank and let it sit for a while,” she explained.
Rector purchased her winning ticket at Pevely Mobil, 1632 Highway Z in Pevely.
"Merry Money," a $2 game with a top prize of $25,000, officially began on Oct. 25, 2008.