2009-05-12 08:54:11.877

Columbia Bus Driver Scores Lottery Payday

For Anita Hammell of Columbia, a quick detour on her way home from work led to a $20,000 prize playing the Missouri Lottery’s “$100,000 Payday” Scratchers game.

Hammell, a school bus driver for the Columbia School District, made the stop at Break Time, 2402 Paris Rd. in Columbia, to cash in $19 worth of winning Scratchers tickets.  While there, she decided to get one $5 ticket to take home with the rest of her winnings.

She scratched off the new ticket at home and happily realized she had uncovered the game’s “5x” symbol, which meant she won five times the prize amount shown.  Initially, she thought that win was $10,000 and called her oldest son and her mother to share the good news.

Next came the realization that she was holding a ticket that was actually worth $20,000.  Then came the “bear hugs” as she visited her mom with the winning ticket and then went back to the Break Time station and thanked the clerk who had sold it to her with a hug as well.

According to Hammell, her win will allow her to “pay some bills, buy some stuff for the kids and share with my two sisters.”

“$100,000 Payday,” a $5 game with a top prize of $100,000, officially began on March 28.

The Missouri Lottery generates nearly $1 billion a year in sales and contributes more than $265 million annually to Missouri public education programs, including the A+ Scholarship Program, the Virtual Schools program, Special Education Excess Costs, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and Future Minority Teacher Scholarships.  In fiscal year 2008, the Missouri Lottery ranked sixth in percentage increase in sales among the 42 United States lotteries.

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