2009-10-02 14:07:55.053

Russellville Man Wins "$200,000 A Year For Life"

Story Photo audio icon Roger Schnieders of Russellville likes to play the Lottery, and he’s even had a little luck from time to time.  In 2007, he won $50,000 playing a "Crossword" Scratchers ticket.  But it’s his most recent win that has the town talking.  Schnieders, 45, picked up a Missouri Lottery "$200,000 A Year For Life" Scratchers ticket on a trip to Casey’s General Store, 102 Eastland Dr. in Jefferson City, during his lunch break on Sept. 28. 
"I had to go to lunch and put some gas in my truck, because my son had a baseball game that night," started Schnieders.  "Casey’s is down there, and I always get a sandwich or something there."
Schnieders said that the clerk asked if he wanted a Lottery ticket because, "they know me." 
"I usually buy one while I’m there," he explained.  "So I said, ’Yeah, give me one of the $20 (tickets).’  I scratched it off and just had to sit there and stare at it for a while."  
Schnieders was a little flustered that day and understandably so.  The $20 Scratchers ticket revealed the top prize - $200,000 a year for life.  He selected to receive his winnings as one lump sum of $3 million before taxes. 
"I had to go back to work.  It was hard to, but when I got back to work, I ended up having someone cover for me and came straight over here," said Schnieders. 

He claimed his ticket that afternoon at Lottery headquarters in Jefferson City, before even telling his wife about the win.   When he did share the news, he said, "She just cried all afternoon, basically.  Three million dollars is a lot of money."  

After thinking hard about whether to claim the prize as an annuity or a lump sum, Schnieders acted on advice from his bank and his stepson, who is a financial planner.  He said they had some things they needed right away and that he would invest the rest to provide income for years to come. 
"My son is getting ready to go to college.  He’s a senior in high school, so he needs a car," related Schnieders.  "I’ve got a daughter who is pregnant and due in December.  I’m interested in buying some land.  I’m going to have grandkids now.  There’s just something about the lump sum.  It’s there, we can do some things, invest it and be set for life, really." 
Both Schnieders and his wife, Pamela, are just a few years from retirement with the state of Missouri.  Roger works for the Office of Administration in the surplus division.  He said they will keep working since they’ve "been there for this long," but they have plans to enjoy life from here on out.  Pamela is a cancer survivor and just started the last phase of treatment. 
"I do want to enjoy life," stated Schnieders.  "Go out to eat when I want.  I don’t have to pinch pennies anymore." 
When the couple celebrates their 25th wedding anniversary next year, they have plans to take a "real vacation for once."  Schnieders explained that they’ll be able to help family and enjoy more time together. 
"My son plays baseball.  I went to every one of his games in high school, and now he’s getting ready to go off to college.  I told him I probably can’t go to his games there.  But I think now we can actually afford to go watch his games there, too - even if it’s in Texas!"  
"$200,000 A Year For Life" is a $20 Scratchers game that officially began on Jan. 31.  This is the second of three top prizes to be claimed in the game.  Schnieders is the 40th millionaire from a Scratchers game and the 283rd Missouri Lottery-made millionaire since the games began in 1986.

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