For Cynthia McNiff, who has been living in Massachusetts, a visit to her Missouri-adjacent hometown of Ash Flat, Ark., provided a $50,000 payday, thanks to a Missouri Lottery Scratchers ticket. McNiff, 47, together with her daughter, Chelsea Williamson, 22, claimed a top prize on a “Bonus Word Crossword” game, presenting their winning ticket at the Lottery’s Springfield regional office on May 2.
In a game that challenges players to match and scratch as many words as possible in the crossword puzzle, McNiff said she was very excited at the thought of matching 10 words and getting the associated prize of $5,000.
“I put [the ticket] under the mattress,” she recalled with a laugh.
But upon further inspection, she learned that the value of her ticket had skyrocketed.
“I showed it to my other daughter, and she said, ‘Mom, you have 11 words!’” she shared.
Knowing that the extra word meant the difference between a $5,000 prize and $50,000 prize, McNiff said she scoured the ticket once more, searching for and counting each word again.
As luck would have it, there was the 11th elusive word – “edit” – displayed in the puzzle.
McNiff said she’ll probably share a portion of her winnings with her mother and use the rest to pay bills.
“You’ve always got them bills,” she laughed.
McNiff purchased the winning ticket at Flash Market, Rural Route 1, in Thayer.
“Bonus Word Crossword” is a $3 game that officially started Feb. 5. Seven top prizes of $50,000, as well as thousands of prizes between $3 and $5,000, remain in play. Details about remaining prizes for all Missouri Lottery Scratchers games can be found at Molottery.com.