2011-03-01 13:16:14.293

Saint James Couple Excited About First Cruise

Story Photo audio icon It was the big ship on the ticket that caught Casey Morris’ eye. The Saint James business owner doesn’t play the Lottery a lot, but he thought the cruise package offered on the “Missouri Lottery’s 25th Anniversary Cruise” ticket would be a welcome vacation. Low and behold, the first ticket he bought and scratched delivered a once-in-a-lifetime prize – a Royal Caribbean cruise.
“Me and my wife were trying to plan a trip to Vegas just a few weeks before we got this, and you know, it was pretty expensive,” said Morris. “She’s never flown before, and she’s never seen the ocean. She’s excited!”
Morris, 28, had the ticket for nearly a month before claiming the prize on Feb. 28. He bought the ticket at DJ’s Package & Sporting Goods, 314 N. Jefferson, in Saint James. He explained that his business, Unique Hardscapes, has kept him busy building retaining walls and driveways. He kept the ticket hidden at home in the interim, pulling it out to show friends and family. 
“Nobody really believed me until I actually showed them the ticket,” he recalled. “I told them I won the Missouri Lottery. Of course, it’s just better to see it in person than it is to try and explain it to them. After I got done showing people, I thought, ‘Wow. I guess I better get up and turn that thing in.’” 
Morris even had to convince his wife, Jackie, that the ticket was real.
“I told her I had a surprise for her over the phone. I said, ‘You’re just not going to believe it, so you’re going to have to wait until you get home.’ She about freaked out,” he recounted.
Morris said he joked with her that he was going to sell the ticket, but both are excited about taking the cruise.
“We’ve never had a vacation or anything near like this,” he admitted. “We keep talking about, ‘Well, when we go on the cruise, it will be so nice.’ I’m tired of talking about it. I’m ready to do it! I want to be talking past tense about it.”
When asked if he would continue playing the Lottery, Morris said, “Yeah, I think this will probably lead to me buying some more tickets. It’s amazing. As many times as I’ve played, it’s unbelievable. It’s almost too good to be true.” 
Missouri Lottery’s 25th Anniversary Cruise” is a $5 ticket that officially began Jan. 22. Players can win up to $75,000 instantly or one of 28 cruise packages on Royal Caribbean. Cruise packages include a seven-night Caribbean cruise, first-class airfare to the departure destination, hotel accommodations the night prior to departure, $1,000 in on-board spending credit, luggage, $500 cash and more.

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