2010-09-28 15:53:03.837

'It's Real!' Ozark Wife Sends $250,000 Text Message

Story Photo audio icon An Ozark man was about to turn off his cell phone to board an airplane, when he received a text message from his wife saying, “It’s real!”  Jack Cauldwell knew exactly what the message meant.  At that moment, his wife, Natalie, was claiming a $250,000 Scratchers prize at the Missouri Lottery’s Springfield office.

It all started with a telephone call from Jack, a territory manager for Medtronic, who was on his way out of town for business on Sept. 23.  He stopped at Price Cutter Supermarket, 5504 N. 17th St. in Ozark, for some last-minute items, including a “$250,000 Payout” Scratchers ticket. 

While in the parking lot, Jack uncovered the top prize amount.  He immediately called his wife, a middle school principal, with the news. 

“You’re not going to believe this,” he began.  “I just played a scratch-off, and the ticket says that I won $250,000!”

He took a detour to his wife’s school to deliver the ticket before catching his flight.

 “He brought me a winning Lottery ticket worth $250,000,” she recalled in disbelief.  “I was kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh!’”

After sharing the news with her secretary and vice-principal, she drove to the Springfield Lottery office to see “if the ticket was real.”

As for plans for the windfall, Natalie noted that she’s “a little blown away” by the experience.

“I just haven’t had time to really think about it,” she shared.  “We have a son in college and a son in high school.  So, obviously we have education to pay for.  That will be our top priority.” 

She admitted that she “doesn’t even play the Lottery.”

“I give my husband a lot of grief for buying Lottery tickets,” she shared with a laugh.  “I guess I can’t do that anymore!”

She added that when her husband returns from his business trip, they will “go to dinner and celebrate!”

"$250,000 Payout," a $10 game with a top prize of $250,000, officially began on June 12.

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