As they were getting ready to barbecue dinner on Mother’s Day, Pamela Tarpley had no idea that the “$5,000,000 Cash Extravaganza” Scratchers ticket her husband bought her would be a gift that would change their lives. The ticket revealed a $1 million prize, in a moment the St. Louis mother of four referred to as “very surreal.”
“You see it in the movies, but you think about how many people don’t get to experience this,” she said. “It’s hard to believe a little piece of paper could be worth so much and have such an impact.”
Tarpley, a medical coder, said the winnings will open up different options as she and her husband approach retirement. Given the choice of receiving her prize in annual payments of $50,000 over the course of 20 years or in a lump sum payout of $620,000, Tarpley opted for the one-time cash award.
When asked what she now planned to do for her husband on Father’s Day, she admitted to being stumped.
“I don’t know how to top this!” she said.
Tarpley’s winning ticket, which makes her the 58th Missouri Lottery player to win $1 million or more on a Scratchers game, was purchased at Shop ‘n Save, 10461 Manchester Road, in Kirkwood.
The “$5,000,000 Cash Extravaganza" ticket is a $20 Scratchers game, offering a top prize of $5 million. In addition to the three remaining top prizes, six $1 million prizes also remain unclaimed. Details about remaining prizes for the game, which officially began Jan. 23, 2010, can be found at Molottery.com.