2010-09-13 10:46:45.857

Warrenton Woman Wins First $50,000 Top Prize

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Hoping she wouldn’t have to sit on a $50,000 winning Missouri Lottery Scratchers ticket over the long Labor Day weekend, Serena Sheppard of Warrenton quickly gathered her family and headed to the Lottery’s St. Louis regional office to claim the very first top prize on the latest rendition of the popular “Crossword” game.

“We got my daughter out of school early and everything,” she laughed, still excited about how her day had unfolded.

Earlier, Sheppard and her boyfriend had been working on her vehicle, and they needed to stop at an auto parts store.  Luckily for the 40-year-old Jack in the Box employee, they also made a quick visit to the nearby Casey’s General Store, 601 S. Hwy. 47 in Warrenton, where she bought just one $3 “Crossword” ticket.

It wouldn’t be until later in the day, though, that she scratched her ticket and revealed its prize.

“I saw seven words, then eight, then nine, then 10,” she said.

Knowing that finding 11 words in the puzzle would earn her the game’s top prize of $50,000, she became nervous.

“I took my ticket to my neighbor who plays ‘Crossword’ all the time,” she said.  “She looked at it and said, ‘Serena, I think you did it!’”

Indeed, she had.  The 11th word – REEL – prompted Sheppard to take her ticket back to the store for verification.  Then, with her boyfriend, mother and daughter in tow, she headed to St. Louis to claim her prize money.

“I’m going to pay bills first,” she said. “And then I’ll see what I’ll do with the rest.”

The newest $3 “Crossword” Scratchers game officially began Aug. 28.  Details about remaining prizes for this game, and all Missouri Lottery Scratchers games, can be found on Molottery.com.

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