For Jerry Turner of Auxvasse, it felt like the Missouri Lottery was giving him the “best birthday present ever.” Turner was at Lottery headquarters in Jefferson City on his 62nd birthday to claim a $50,000 top prize from a “Crossword” Scratchers ticket he purchased at Casey’s General Store, 405 E. Harrison St., in Auxvasse.
“This is the first time in my life I’ve been this lucky,” he said and then paused. “Well, the second time. The first was when I met her (pointing to his wife Gwen, who accompanied him to redeem his winning ticket).”
Turner is a regular when it comes to playing “Crossword.”
“I’ve been buying one ‘Crossword’ ticket every day for about three-and-a-half years,” he said, noting that he likes the fact that the game “takes some time” and laughing when his wife offered that it “works his brain.”
Turner took his most recent purchase home before scratching it and couldn’t believe his good luck. In a game that awards more prizes for each word uncovered, he admitted to counting the words “dozens of times” before taking the ticket “to both retailers in town” to verify that it was indeed a big winner.
“I slept with it,” he teased, “and had to make sure my dog didn’t chew it up.”
When asked what he intends to do with his prize money, Turner said he plans to trade in his 1979 Chevy truck for a newer model, pay off some bills, help family and give some to charity. His wife agreed, but she also had a few ideas of her own.
“Come on. We’re going shopping,” she said as they headed out of the Lottery office.
“Crossword,” a $3 game that officially began July 18, 2009, still features more than $3 million in available prizes. Further information on remaining prizes for “Crossword” and all other Missouri Lottery Scratchers games can be found at Molottery.com.