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May 11, 2010

Clerk Steers Columbia Customer to $250,000 Lottery Prize

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As Chimanga Jackson approached the check-out counter of a local convenience store, the clerk on duty asked him if he would like to add any Missouri Lottery tickets to his purchase.  The two seconds of consideration he gave the matter led the Columbia man to a $250,000 prize, as he impulsively decided to go ahead and purchase a Mega Millions ticket with five Quick Pick plays.  As luck would have it, one of those plays ended up matching all five of the white-ball numbers drawn in the May 4 drawing. 

“I wouldn’t have bought it if the clerk hadn’t asked me,” he shared.  “I had no intention of buying Lottery tickets when I went in there.”

Forgetting all about the ticket for the Tuesday drawing, it was Thursday evening when Jackson remembered the ticket that still lay in his vehicle.

“I said, ‘Let me go get that ticket out of the car and check it online,” he recalled, explaining that he had already seen that the big jackpot prize had been hit in California, so even when he matched the first three numbers, he was sure he had won only a small prize.

“I couldn’t believe it when the last two (numbers) were there, too,” he added.

According to Jackson, 35, he and his wife plan to use the money “wisely.”

“I’m going to pay off some of my unsecured debt,” he said. “That’s 100 percent sure; a fact.”

Jackson bought his winning ticket at Break Time, 1000 Smiley Lane, in Columbia.  His winning numbers were:  9, 21, 31, 36 and 43.

Mega Millions, a multi-lottery Numbers Game with jackpots that start at $12 million, holds drawings twice each week on Tuesday and Friday nights.  Five Missouri Lottery players have won $250,000 or more since the game began in Missouri on Jan. 31.

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