"You can’t win if you don’t play" is the message from the newest Missouri Lottery millionaire. Paul Koelling, 66, of Mexico matched all six numbers in the Jan. 28 Lotto drawing to win the jackpot of $1.6 million. Koelling claimed his ticket at Lottery headquarters on Jan. 30 and selected to receive his winnings as annuity payments of $64,000 before taxes for the next 25 years.
"I normally buy my tickets at Manny’s in Mexico," explained Koelling.
But when he stopped for a chicken sandwich in Ashland, he purchased $5 worth of Quick Picks for Lotto at Fast Lane, 602 E. Broadway in Ashland. That ticket held the winning numbers of 9, 11, 16, 19, 25 and 44. Fast Lane will receive a $16,000 incentive for selling the winning ticket.
"Everybody thinks I’m lucky, but I play a lot," said Koelling.
In fact, Koelling’s dedication to regular play has led to a number of different Lottery prizes over the years. Both he and his wife, Judy, have won $25,000, as well as two trips to Hawaii.
The semi-retired car salesman says this latest prize will enable his wife to finally retire later this year. Judy Koelling works for the Missouri Department of Revenue in taxation and wants to see them through the tax season before retiring. After that, they have plans to take a cruise to Alaska. They also intend to get their motor home out of the shed. When asked where they would travel, Koelling said, "Anywhere we want to go."
Don’t expect Koelling to retire from playing the Lottery, however. He has dreams of hitting an even bigger jackpot and says he would use the money to re-open a shuttered business in Mexico.
"This will make it easier to play my Powerball numbers," said Koelling. "I love a challenge."
Koelling’s ticket is the 186th Lotto jackpot ticket sold since the game began in 1986.