2009-01-27 08:53:30.437

St. Charles Man Wins $1 Million Raffle Prize

A St. Charles sales representative is $1 million richer after discovering he held the winning Missouri Lottery Million-Dollar Raffle ticket from the Jan. 20 drawing.

Ross Stenzel, 25, was on his way to a concert in late December when a craving for a soda fueled a stop to QuikTrip, 1640 S. 5th St. in St. Charles. 

"I was heading to see a Bon Jovi cover band in St. Louis, but I wanted to grab a drink before the show," said Stenzel.  "I bought a Coke, water and one raffle ticket.  That was about a month ago, so I haven’t been thinking about the ticket much since then."

Four weeks later Stenzel checked his ticket online at Molottery.com and realized his 10-digit raffle number looked "very similar" to the numbers for the $1 million prize.

"My heart started pounding," revealed Stenzel.  "I checked the ticket online about 20 times."

When asked about plans for the prize money, Stenzel noted that he "will invest pretty much all of it."

"I would like to take a trip to Hawaii, too," said Stenzel.

Stenzel plans to take his prize in cash, which is $710,000 after taxes.

In addition to Stenzels prize, QuikTrip will receive a check equal to 1 percent of the prize amount - which is $10,000 - for selling the winning ticket.

The Million-Dollar Raffle was a Numbers Game that was a modern version of a traditional raffle.  For $10, players could purchase a ticket with a 10-digit raffle number.  Tickets were sold in sequential order from Nov. 17, 2008, through Jan. 17, and the drawing was held on Jan. 20.  With total sales reported at 171,803 tickets, the game offered the best chance ever to win $1 million.  The game also awarded four $100,000 prizes and 440 $500 prizes.

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