2010-12-23 22:32:17.907

Troy Woman Unwraps $10,000 Winning Ticket in 'Secret Santa' Game

Story Photo audio icon It’s tradition at many holiday work parties to play “Secret Santa” or “White Elephant” gift exchange games, where employees choose a wrapped present out of a pile or “steal” from a co-worker who already opened their package.  Kelly Wiskoski of Troy, an office manager at JMN Logistics in St. Louis, looked around at her fellow co-workers’ gifts, but she decided to take her chances by selecting a small wrapped package that “looked pretty.”

Not only did she like the wrapping paper, but what was inside caused her to start “freaking out.”  Beneath the paper was a scented candle, a gift card and one Missouri Lottery “Merry Money” Scratchers ticket that just so happened to hold a $10,000 prize.

“I scratched it, and thought that I was reading it wrong,” Wiskoski recalled.  “I thought that there was no way that I just won.  I thought, ‘Well, maybe I just won $500?’  The more I read it, the more I was hyperventilating!”

Unsure of how much she had won or if she had really won at all, the 30-year-old mother of two called her husband to inform him that she was leaving work early to drive to the Lottery’s St. Louis office to claim what she thought was a $500 prize.

“He told me that I was crazy and misreading it,” she shared with a laugh.

Before leaving her work party, the person who bought the ticket gave her a “big hug, and said, ‘I hope you win!’”

It wasn’t until she claimed her ticket at the Lottery that she learned that she had won a $10,000 prize.

The first-time Lottery winner said she promised her co-workers that she’d go back to work and tell everyone how much she won.

“They’re kind of all in suspense back at the office!” she exclaimed, noting that she’d probably walk into the office door screaming that she won $10,000.

As for how she will use the windfall, she added that she “just recently found out that we’re expecting, so a nursery would be good!”

The winning ticket was purchased at Shop ‘n Save, 9070 St. Charles Rock Road, in St. Louis.

"Merry Money," a $5 game with a top prize of $100,000, officially began on Oct. 23.

Non-winning “Merry Money” Scratchers tickets can be entered in the “Hi-Tech Holiday” promotion for a chance to win a $15,000 hi-tech makeover, cash and Scratchers tickets.

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