News

August 17, 2010

Bolivar Student Wins $1,000 Prize on 18th Birthday

Story Photo audio icon What’s better than turning 18 years old?  Winning $1,000 on your 18th birthday!  Summer vacation might be coming to an end for Matt Magana, an incoming senior at Bolivar High School, but the fun is just beginning.  Magana won a $1,000 prize on a Missouri Lottery "Sunny Money" Scratchers ticket on Aug. 13 after following a plan and a "gut feeling."
           
The night before his birthday, he was out with friends when he came up with an idea. 
           
"I was joking around with one of my buddies, and I’m like, ’I’m going to go around to every gas station and buy a (Scratchers) ticket,’" he said.
           
When he woke up on his birthday, he "just had this weird gut feeling that I had to go do it."
           
He enlisted one of his two sisters to go along for the ride.  After buying one ticket from each of the seven gasoline stations in Bolivar, he returned to his home to begin the ticket-scratching process. 
           
"I kept uncovering $250 and $250, and my sisters were just going nuts," he said.  "I had to sit there and look at the ticket for a little bit, because I thought somebody sold me a fake ticket."
           
Next, he called his mom with the news, to which she said, "No way!"
           
"I started screaming and ran around my house for a couple minutes!" he recalled.
           
Before heading to the Springfield Lottery office to claim his first-ever Missouri Lottery Scratchers prize, he had an important phone call to make. 
           
One of Magana’s friend’s, Kolton Peavey of Bolivar, predicted that he’d win $1,000 on his birthday.
           
"I called him up today, and was like, ’Dude, I won that $1,000 that you were talking about!" he noted.
           
Peavey didn’t believe him right away, so Magana picked him up on the way to claim his prize to "prove that I actually did win it, and it was real!"
           
In addition to his $1,000 prize, he also had two more winning tickets in his stash.
           
"I won $2 on one other ticket and $2 on another ticket," he shared.
           
As for how he will spend the prize money, he was already planning on buying a car, so the winnings will "help out a little bit with that."
           
Magana summed up his 18th birthday by saying that he’ll "always remember it."
           
"It’s way up there - probably the top birthday," he added with a laugh.  

"Sunny Money," a $1 game with a top prize of $1,000, officially began on June 12.

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