Co-workers at Marshall Fireworks, Highway 65 and Interstate 70 near Marshall, became the first Missouri Lottery players to cash in on one of the upper-level prizes for the new “$200,000 A Year For Life” Scratchers game. Melody Sloma-Hardin, 41, of Marshall and Holly Hieronymus, 36, of Sedalia joined forces to win a $10,000 prize after spying the latest Scratchers ticket at the store at which they both work.
After sharing a shift on Feb. 5, they decided to play the new game, which officially began on Jan. 31.
“We saw the new tickets come in and wanted to give it a try,” said Sloma-Hardin.
She asked Hieronymus if she wanted to “split one” (a ticket). It wasn’t a winner, but they decided to try once more. The pair purchased another ticket and won $20, which they then used to buy the $10,000 winner.
“It was crazy,” recalled Sloma-Hardin. As Hieronymus scratched the last ticket, “she was giggling and asked, ‘Is that a 12, and is that a 12 up there, too?’”
Though they were both seeing the same lucky ticket, they “didn’t believe it.” That is until a quick scan at the store’s Check-A-Ticket machine confirmed their win.
“It’s already spent,” Sloma-Hardin said of the prize money. “I’m getting a motor for my car, and Holly is catching up on bills.”
“$200,000 A Year For Life” is a $20 game offering the best payout percentage in Missouri Lottery history. Three lucky players will win the top prize of $200,000 a year for the rest of their lives, 20 players will walk away with $100,000 and an additional 40 players will win $20,000.