October 4, 2010
Jadwin Man Pays It Forward With Pick 4
Gene Graves of Jadwin has a few theories on how to play Pick 3 and Pick 4, and he’s willing to share in more ways than one. He recently bought 10 Pick 4 tickets with identical numbers for the Sept. 23 drawing, and gave five away at the time of purchase to people he knew and appreciated. The numbers came up that evening, making each Straight/Box ticket worth $3,125. The winning combination was 2 – 5 – 9 – 8. Graves kept five of the tickets for himself, bringing his total prize to $15,625.
“I have a friend, and he told me, ‘Gene, if you buy five tickets, all different numbers, you’re giving four dollars away. Why don’t you just buy five numbers the same?’ I thought about it, and it seemed kind of reasonable to me,” explained Graves.
That advice led Graves to start purchasing multiple tickets of the same numbers he had a good feeling about. Giving tickets away to other people is just something he tries to practice.
“I gave away a buck,” he said. “And if the numbers come in, I know they’ll put it to good use for their families.”
The five lucky recipients of Grave’s generosity are all thankful he likes to pay it forward, even if a Lottery ticket isn’t always a winner. In this case, each of them got a $3,125 prize. Graves said he gets a good feeling from helping others, especially in his little part of the state where he’s surrounded by good people.
“I bought some at Dan’s also, but I kind of believe in sharing a little bit and the other gas station I go to is Break Time, where I got these tickets at. He’s a real great guy, you know. He runs a good store, a lot of people there, serves the best biscuits and gravy in Missouri. He does, really,” explained Graves.
While Graves bought this round of tickets at Break Time, 1002 Highway 32 East in Salem, he is well-known in the community and likes to meet some of the locals for coffee at the outpost of the canoe outfitter in Jadwin.
It’s the people who drew the retiree from Ohio to Missouri. Graves, 73, is a Korean War veteran and worked most of his life at the Goodyear plant in Lucky, Ohio. One year, while traveling through Salem on the way to visit family, he stopped for a bite to eat in a local diner. One resident took the time to introduce himself, and he remembered Graves a year later when he came back through town.
“It was right then I knew this was the kind of place where I wanted to live,” said Graves.
Thus, the mutually beneficial relationship between Graves and Missouri river country began. Graves benefits from being surrounded by good people, and the local community benefits from his labor on odd-jobs, works of song and poetry, and the occasional Lottery ticket gift.
Graves said he’ll continue to play the Lottery.
“If you play the same number every day, and it only comes in once, for the whole year you’ve had a lot of fun trying and wishing,” said Graves.
With that attitude, it’s no surprise that lady luck smiled on Graves. And while he remains in the area around Salem, Graves will undoubtedly keep others smiling, too.
is a twice-daily Numbers Game, with prizes ranging from $60 to $6,000.