2009-12-14 15:29:21.11

Belle Woman Wins $5,000 on "Crossword"

Story Photo audio icon Chris Merseal of Belle likes to play the Missouri Lottery when she has extra money.  The "Crossword" and "Bingo" tickets are her favorites because they take a little while to play. 
"It lasts longer," said Merseal. 

Her penchant for these games finally paid off when she uncovered a $5,000 prize on Dec. 9.  Merseal stopped that night at Thomas Quick Stop, 35785 E. Highway 28 in Belle, for a soda and a "Crossword" Scratchers ticket.  As she scratched the ticket later at home, excitement began to build. 

"I don’t scratch straight across.  I go this corner and this corner because it’s where the vowels are," explained Merseal.  "I thought, ’Hey, I’m going to win $100. Oh wow, wait a minute.’  I looked at it four times making sure everything matched up.  Then I got excited."   

After showing the ticket to her boyfriend’s son and his friend, Merseal wanted to go to another store to check the ticket, but the boys wouldn’t let her drive. 

"My heart was going…," she said, making a fast beating sound.  "I wanted to jump up and down, but they would have thought I was plumb crazy." 

Merseal, 49, works for Pyramid, a company that provides in-home assistance for the elderly and disabled.  She considered taking a day off work to claim her prize, but her conscience won out. 

"I had told my client that I would be there," explained Merseal.  "So, I got up and went to work." 

Merseal said that she would use the prize money to settle some personal debt and to "go Christmas shopping."  She said that she has everything she needs, but managed to think of a couple of small items she might buy. 

"Maybe some new underwear," offered Merseal.  "Oh, and I am buying myself something else.  Our toilet seat is cracked, and I told myself, if I get nothing else with this money, I’m buying a toilet seat." 

While she may be sitting more comfortably these days, Merseal said that she would continue to play the Lottery. 

"Why would I quit now?" she asked.  "I’m going for the $50,000!" 

"Crossword," a $3 game that officially began on July 18, features a top prize of $50,000.

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