2010-04-20 16:32:37.57

Name Says it All: Lottery Helps The Richers Become $50,003 Richer

Story Photo audio icon It was an exciting weekend for one Camdenton couple.  Leslie and George Richer became their last name – $50,003 richer after uncovering a top prize on a Missouri Lottery "Bingo Multiplier" Scratchers ticket on April 16.

"I thought I won the four corners, which is $2,500," Leslie began.  "I said to my husband, ’George, come here a minute!’  When I looked back down, I realized it was an ’X’ and not just the four corners!"

What happened next was a somewhat of a blur, but Leslie recalls stammering and yelling even louder for her husband to "come here!"

"He came in, and we went over the numbers again and again and again trying to make sure we hadn’t made a mistake, and it was true," she recalled.

After confirming the prize amount with each other, they "jumped in the car and went down and had it checked out at the filling station."  While at Gerbes, 1159 E. U.S. Highway 54 in Camdenton, the couple was informed that they needed to claim their prize at one of the Lottery’s regional offices.  The offices were closed for the weekend, so the Richers kept a close watch on their winning ticket until Monday morning. 

"We checked it (ticket) a lot over the weekend," George said.  "I even got it out this morning and double checked everything again." 

The Richers, who have been taking care of Leslie’s ailing mother for more than five years, said they are "finally starting to relax now." 

George noted that he has a year and a half until he can retire, so the couple is "making lots of plans" in the meantime about how to use the windfall. 

Leslie added that she’d like to "do a little traveling here and there," put a down payment on a new home or rent a motor home and take a trip to the Grand Canyon. 

"It’s been a tough last couple of years, and now we can just do what we want," she said.  "We don’t have to worry about money."

The couple who is "still a little numb and still pinching each other" said they are both feeling "relieved" after their win.

"It takes the burdens off your shoulders," Leslie said.

The couple celebrates their 21st wedding anniversary in May, so they also added that the win is a "great anniversary gift!"

"Bingo Multiplier," a $3 game with a top prize of $50,003, officially began on Dec. 25, 2009.  Players have the opportunity to win up to six times on a single ticket, including the chance to increase their prize with the multiplier feature.  To date, three top prizes, and thousands of prizes ranging from $3 to $25,003, remain in play.

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