Thomas Bender has been playing the Missouri Lottery’s “Cash Explosion” Scratchers game since it started mid-January, and earned the game’s top prize of $100,000 when he purchased a winning ticket at Deer Run Quick Mart in O’Fallon on March 30.
Bender, 51, had gone simply to pick up some gas for his lawnmower and car, but decided to get one “Crossword” and one “Cash Explosion” ticket while he was there. He began scratching the tickets in his car on the way home, but soon sensed he was holding a big winner.
“I saw $5,000 and stopped (scratching),” he said.
An assembler for General Motors in Wentzville, Bender took the ticket home and told his wife, “I think I’ve got a real winner.”
He laughed as he remembered her response. “No way,” she had said.
As for the couple’s next step, “We’re probably going to talk to a financial person.”
"Cash Explosion" is a $5 game with a top prize of $100,000. The game officially began on Jan. 14 and offers more than $18 million in total prizes.