2011-01-21 11:47:15.267

Couple Celebrates 40 Years of Marriage With $77,000 Lottery Prize

Story Photo audio icon A Branson couple can finally trade in their 1997 truck for something new - thanks to a $77,000 windfall.  Karen and Don Wilmore, who will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in June, uncovered the top prize amount on a Missouri Lottery “Power 7’s” Scratchers ticket on Jan. 14.

Karen, a retired Silver Dollar City employee, had won $20 on a “Kansas City Chiefs” Scratchers ticket.  She intended to cash in her winning “Chiefs” game at a different retail location, but a change in plans brought her to Jubilee Foods, 2210 W. Highway 76 in Branson, instead. 

“I kept what I won – what I paid for the tickets – and bought two more tickets,” said Karen.

When she returned home, she handed two “Power 7’s” Scratchers tickets to her husband, and she began putting away groceries. 

“Normally, he scratchers half, and I scratch half,” she began.  “He scratched the first one, and the first number was $500.  Then, he scratches the second one, and it says $500, and it’s got a black seven on it.”            

After uncovering two $500 prize amounts in a row, Don, who is retired from the military, called his wife into the dining room to share the excitement.   

“He goes, ‘I don’t know if I’m reading this right!’” she recalled.  “Then he wanted to know if I wanted to scratch them, and I said, ‘No, you’re doing a good job.  Keep scratching!’”

Moments later, the Wilmores were “kind of in shock” when they added up all of the prize amounts on the ticket.

“I think we’re just going to stick it in the bank for now,” she shared, when asked about plans for the prize money.  “We’re going to have to get another vehicle sometime.  Our truck is a 1997.  It has over 118,000 miles on it.”

Don added that even after claiming the prize at a Lottery office, “it really hasn’t sunk in.” 

He joked that when he first scratched off the ticket and saw a $500 prize, he “thought that was pretty good!”

When asked to sum up the couple’s experience winning the Lottery, Don said they went through a range of emotions:  “excitement, disbelief and now relief.”

"Power 7’s," a $5 game with a top prize of $77,000, officially began on Dec. 4, 2010.

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