2009-09-29 16:41:58.433

Cedar Hill Woman Cashes $25,000 Top Prize

Story Photo audio icon A mail carrier from Cedar Hill found herself protecting a valuable package on Sept. 26.  Marilyn McCanless bought a Missouri Lottery "Red Hot Cherries" Scratchers ticket earlier in the day, and discovered she was holding a winning ticket worth $25,000 around 11 p.m. that night. 

"My husband was asleep, and I went and woke him up," she began.  "And I go, ’I’m either losing it or we won big!’"

McCanless, a first-time Lottery winner, said "he threw his clothes on, and we went down to the station to make sure it was a winner."

It was a long weekend for the couple who had to wait until Lottery offices re-opened to claim the prize. 

"We hid it (ticket) under our mattress," she added with a laugh. 

McCanless, a mother of three, said they plan to pay off their jeep and help their son with college with the windfall.  She noted that they will also share some of the winnings with their children as a Christmas gift.

In terms of advice for fellow players, she said to "keep buying."

"If it happened to me, it can happen to anybody."

McCanless purchased the winning ticket at U-Gas, 7005 Highway NN at Highway 30 in Cedar Hill.

"Red Hot Cherries" is a $2 game with a top prize of $25,000.

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