2011-06-09 10:23:42.467

New Shoes and Trip to Vegas on the Horizon for Kirksville Lottery Winner

Story Photo audio icon A Kirksville man can finally retire his favorite pair of sneakers, thanks to winning a $50,000 prize on a Missouri Lottery “Bonus Word Crossword” Scratchers ticket. Fred Wheeler, a photo laboratory attendant at Walmart, was “on lunch break,” when he decided to stop at Ayerco, 2214 N. Baltimore Ave., in Kirksville.
Wheeler has been playing “Bonus Word Crossword” and “Bingo” for the last two years hoping to win a top prize. True to his playing style, he tried his luck on a few Scratchers tickets.
At first, the father-of-one and grandfather-of-two, thought he had won a $5,000 prize.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m going to check this again,” he explained, adding that he was a few minutes late returning from lunch, because he was “checking this ticket so many times.”
After scanning his winning ticket “two or three” more times at work, Wheeler said he was “sure it was a winner.”
“The first thing that I am going to do is buy some shoes!” he exclaimed, noting that he knows exactly which brand to buy.
“About 20 years ago, I got started wearing those (SAS shoes), because a bartender I bartended with was a student doctor, and he told me that all the doctors in Northeast Missouri wore those SAS shoes. I tried them when they were $50 a pair, and I’ve worn them ever since.”
In addition to a new pair of shoes, he is considering taking a vacation to Las Vegas.
“I’ve been to Vegas 7 or 8 times, but it was in the ‘70s before they built the great big buildings and the streets covered with lights, and I’d like to see that,” he shared.
When asked to sum up his Lottery-winning experience, he said that “surprise (and) shock” were the two words that came to mind.

Bonus Word Crossword” is a $3 ticket that officially began on Feb. 5

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