2009-11-13 15:37:08.9

Illinois Bartender Gets $20,000 Payday

Story Photo audio icon The workday for Deborah Mason of Dupo, Ill., includes traveling across the river to JR’s Saloon in south county St. Louis.  After a long night of serving drinks to thirsty Missourians, she usually makes a stop at Butler Hill Gas & Food, 5204 Lemay Ferry Road in St. Louis, before heading back to Illinois.    
"That’s my regular stop," said Mason.  "I just stop on my way home." 
Mason likes to play Scratchers on occasion and ventured to buy a ticket in the early morning hours of Nov. 11.  She spent $10 on a Missouri Lottery "Season’s Greetings" Scratchers ticket. 
"I had bought some tickets and didn’t win much," recalled Mason.  "I had $10 left in my pocket, so I said, ’What the heck.  Give me that one.’  I about died." 
While scratching the ticket in the store, Mason quickly realized it was a $20,000 winner. 
"I looked at it and said, ’Naw, this ain’t right.  It can’t be.’  Because I’ve never won that kind of money," related Mason.   "I just stood there and shook for a few minutes." 
After confirming her good fortune with the clerk, Mason said she kept the ticket under lock and key through the state holiday, and then presented the ticket at the St. Louis Lottery office on Nov. 12.  She indicated that she would use the money to pay bills, as well as treat herself to a special vacation. 

"I want to go somewhere on New Year’s, so I’m going to take some of it and do that, and the rest, I’m paying off a couple of bills," explained Mason. 

"I’d love to go to Vegas.  I’m always working on New Year’s, so I’m going to take some money and go there." 

Mason offered this advice for other Lottery players looking for the big prize. 

"Keep sticking with it, just don’t go overboard." 

"Season’s Greetings" is a $10 game that officially began on Oct. 24.  In addition to a top prize of $250,000, players can submit non-winning "Season’s Greetings" Scratchers into the "Holiday Magic" second-chance promotion for a chance to win trips to WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort® and other prizes.

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