2010-11-02 16:33:34.153

West Plains Woman Claims First $100,000 Holiday Prize

Story Photo audio icon A woman from West Plains has become the first player to claim a top prize on a Missouri Lottery “Merry Money” Scratchers ticket.  Judith Banks, 64, purchased the $100,000 winning ticket at Eastside Package, 1141 Grace Ave., in West Plains. 
“As a matter of fact, I bought two,” began Banks.  “I bought the first one and it didn’t have anything on it, so I bought another one.  The second one was the one that was the winner.” 
As she scratched the ticket in the store, Banks quickly realized she was on to her biggest win to date. 
“I about had a heart attack,” she recalled.  “I was so excited when I scratched off the first $10,000.  That would have done me.” 
But the ticket matched 10 winning numbers, each with a $10,000 prize.  Banks said she sat down, prompting the store clerk to ask if she was alright. 
“I think I’m going to be,” replied Banks.  “As soon as I catch my breath.” 
Banks has won prizes of $500 and $1,000 before, but added, “This is better.” 
Her daughter, Sherri Mann, drove Banks to Jefferson City to claim her prize on Oct. 26.  The widowed mother-of-five has 11 grandchildren and knew exactly what she would do with the windfall. 
“Spend it,” said Banks. 

She added that she might take a short trip, she would “help the kids,” and that she has her eye on a new car – a fuel efficient BMW. 
“I don’t exactly know the name of it, but it gets 60 miles to the gallon,” she explained.  
Now that she has claimed her prize, Banks may be able to get some sleep.  She said she had trouble sleeping the night of the win. 
“I was afraid it would be a dream, and I would wake up and it wouldn’t be real.” 
With her good fortune confirmed, Banks won’t let her nerves stop her from playing the Lottery.
“You bet I’m going to keep playing it,” she declared.  “There may be another one in there!”  
“Merry Money” is a $5 game that officially began Oct. 23.  The top prize is $100,000, and non-winning “Merry Money” tickets are eligible for the “Hi-Tech Holiday” second-chance promotion.  Players can enter $10 worth of eligible holiday-themed Scratchers tickets into the promotion for a chance to win Scratchers tickets, cash or the grand prize of $15,000 for purchasing electronics on their holiday wish lists.


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