2009-12-22 08:27:27.19

De Soto Man Wins "Merry Money"

Story Photo Terry Cotham of De Soto had an interesting year, but he is finishing it off in grand fashion.  The low point may have come in September, when he was laid off from his job in St. Louis.  But, after moving back to his hometown of De Soto, things started to improve.  He married his high-school sweetheart in November and topped that by winning the Lottery in December.  Cotham bought a "Merry Money" Missouri Lottery Scratchers ticket on Dec. 18 and uncovered the top prize of $100,000. 
"Friday, I took my son to school.  I just figured I’d stop at Country Mart and buy a couple tickets," recalled Cotham.  "I took him on to school and scratched them off in the school parking lot.  That was it!" 
Cotham, 54, immediately called his wife, Barbara, to tell her the news. 
"She didn’t believe me because I’m always joking with her," he explained.  "She met me at the house, and we went on down to St. Louis and got all the paperwork ready.  It was great timing." 
Cotham said the money would help pay the bills, but that it would also enable some vacations. 
"We didn’t really have a honeymoon, so we’re going to go to Las Vegas for a little while and see what’s that like, because neither one of us has been there," Cotham added. "Over the summer, we’re going to take the kids on vacation, but we haven’t really decided where we’re going.  And then, of course, I’m going to invest quite a bit of it." 
Cotham purchased the winning ticket at Country Mart, 20 Jefferson Square in De Soto.  Describing himself as a regular player, Cotham indicated that he would continue to play the Lottery. 
"Keep on playing.  You can’t win if you don’t play." 
"Merry Money" is a $5 game that officially began on Oct. 24.  The ticket features a top prize of $100,000, and non-winning tickets are eligible for entry into the Lottery’s "Holiday Magic" second-chance promotion, where players could win a trip to WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort®.

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