News

June 3, 2010

Best Friends Plan Shopping Spree with $20,000 Lottery Prize

Story Photo audio icon A day "out running errands" turned out to be life changing for two longtime friends.  Carol Prather, 36, of Cairo, and Vynai Wells, 30, of Macon, periodically purchase Missouri Lottery Scratchers tickets.  They said that they usually don’t by $20 tickets, but they decided to take a chance on a "$5,000,000 Cash Extravaganza" ticket on June 1. 

Wells scratched the ticket while sitting in Prather’s car outside of Murphy Oil USA, 1303 Highway 24 E., in Moberly. 

"She thought she was a ’loser,’ because she got all the way down to the bottom, and the cash bar where you win all 20 prizes was on the last one," Prather recalled.  "We thought it would be like $500 or something."

"She started scratching $1,000 and another $1,000 and another $1,000," Prather added.  "All of them were $1,000.  We were like, ’Oh my gosh, this cannot be real!’" 

After uncovering a $20,000 prize and confirming the win with a cashier inside of the store, the friends "started calling everybody" to share the news.  The first call was to each of their husbands, who are also friends and co-workers.         

"Our husbands didn’t believe us at first," Prather said.  "We had to go show them the ticket."

The ladies said their husbands, both mechanics, were more excited about the win than they were.  They added that their husbands were also "a bit jealous," because they have never won a "big" prize before.

To keep the ticket safe, Prather kept it "locked up" in her home until they could claim their prize at a Lottery office the following day.  

Although the ticket was stowed away, Prather admitted that they "had to get it out three or four times to show different people."

"I had a hard time falling asleep," said Prather over laughter, who also added that she kept wondering two things all night.  She wondered if the ticket was "really real" and where the two would go shopping with the prize money. 

According to Prather, her plans for the windfall include taking her family on vacation and making home improvements.  Wells said she will pay off her home with her half of the prize money.  The duo noted that they will also have a barbecue and "go shopping" to celebrate.

"You always have it in your mind that you might win, but you never really believe that you will," said Prather.  "But it can happen, and it did!"

"$5,000,000 Cash Extravaganza," a $20 game with a top prize of $5 million, officially began on Jan. 23.

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