According to Marty Martinez, he is a regular customer at Mule Express, 16282 State Highway 13 in Branson West, where he “occasionally gets an urge to scratch” Missouri Lottery Scratchers tickets. That urge paid off on Dec. 29 when the Big Cedar chef scratched his way to a $100,000 prize playing the Lottery’s “$200,000 A Year for Life” game.
Martinez, 37, initially purchased tickets for another Scratchers game, winning small amounts on three consecutive tickets. It was then that he decided to move up to a $20 game. He dubbed the first ticket “an instant loser,” but his opinion would soon change.
As he scratched the next ticket, he quickly spotted the “10X” symbol, which automatically meant he would win 10 times the prize amount.
“When my buddy saw that, he said, ‘You know you got your money’s worth,’” said Martinez. “So I kept going. I always scratch all the numbers first, not the prizes.”
When he was finally ready to uncover the prize amount, Martinez was shocked to see $10,000 and immediately started to do the math in his head.
“I said, ‘$10,000 times 10... that’s $100,000,’” he laughed. “Then I took my butt home.”
It took a little persuading, but his wife, Sandy, eventually believed him when he started making plans to go to the Lottery’s Springfield regional office to claim his prize.
Martinez plans to use the money “to take care of hospital bills, pay off vehicles and invest.”
“$200,000 A Year for Life” officially began Jan. 31 and offers a top prize of $200,000 a year for life. To date, the game still features more than $35 million in available prizes. Further information on remaining prizes for “$200,000 A Year for Life” and all other Missouri Lottery Scratchers games can be found at Molottery.com.