News

April 30, 2010

Nachos Lead to $20,000 Explosion on 'Big Bang Bucks'

Story Photo audio icon A St. Louis woman has her daughter’s appetite to thank for a $20,000 windfall.  Virginia Nickens, 44, was driving her daughter to work when she took a detour to 7-Eleven, 260 Hoffmeister Ave., in Lemay.

"My daughter had to go to work, and she was hungry, so I asked her if she wanted me to just take her somewhere and get her something to eat," she said.

"We went to 7-Eleven for nachos, and that’s when I bought the ticket," she added.

While her daughter was loading up the nachos inside the store, Nickens returned to her vehicle, where she uncovered a $20,000 prize on a Missouri Lottery "Big Bang Bucks" ticket.

The first-time Lottery winner "didn’t believe it," so she went back into the store for confirmation. 

"I asked the lady if it was really what I won, and she’s like, ’Oh my gosh, you won $20,000!’"

"Kind of in shock," Nickens walked out of the store and didn’t say anything to anyone until her daughter joined her moments later in the car.

Her next move was to call her husband, Jeff, at work, but he didn’t believe the news either.

"I had to take the ticket up to his work and show him, and the rest of the day was just a daze," she recalled.

She noted that her husband, who believed it after he saw the ticket with his own eyes, was so excited that he "ran around with it in his hand at work showing everybody."

As for plans for the windfall, Nickens said she will "pay some bills off."

The first-time Lottery winner and her family were already in the process of moving into a new home, so this money came at an opportune time. 

"I was going to get (new) furniture, but make payments on it, and now I don’t have to," she said.  "I’ll just buy it with cash."

Nickens, who bought two "Big Bang Bucks" tickets and won on the second one, had the following advice to share with fellow Lottery players:  "If you’re buying Lottery tickets, and the game just came out, buy two.  Don’t just buy one!"

"Big Bang Bucks" is a $2 game with a top prize of $20,000.

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