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February 22, 2011

French Village Man Becomes Instant Millionaire

audio icon A daily stop for soda, crackers and a Missouri Lottery Scratchers ticket turned one French Village man into an instant millionaire. Michael Neely, 51, made his usual purchases at Bonne Terre BP, 416 Benham St. in Bonne Terre, on Feb. 13, but he experienced something unusual moments later. 

“I was driving down the road on Highway K,” Neely began. “Well, it was unbelievable! I scratched it (a Missouri Lottery ‘100 Million Dollar Blockbuster’ Scratchers ticket) off, and I had to pull over on the road and put my glasses on.”

Neely admitted that he had to look around to “make sure I was awake.” After realizing that he had uncovered a $1 million prize, he said aloud, “Thank you, Lord!”

He took a few moments to compose himself before starting his car again and continuing to his mother’s house, where he was headed for a visit.

When Neely reached his destination, he told his mother that “it’s our time to start living like we should’ve been a long time ago.”

As for plans for the windfall, the first-time Lottery winner had one main concern.

“My number one plan is my mom’s golden years,” shared Neely, adding that his mother raised six children as a single parent.

“It means a lot,” he said. “I’m going to get bills paid and be able to take care of my mom. It means the world to me. It changed my life, and I know it’s going to change it forever.”

"100 Million Dollar Blockbuster," a $10 ticket with a top prize of $1 million, officially began on Sept. 26, 2007.

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