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August 18, 2011

St. Charles Man Plans Retirement With $250,000 Prize

audio icon Harold Branson Jr. of St. Charles has a morning routine that includes buying Missouri Lottery Scratchers tickets. He bought a few at Shop ‘n Save, 60 Harvester Square in St. Charles, on the morning of Aug. 9, and soon discovered the top prize of $250,000 on a “Missouri Lottery’s Silver Anniversary” ticket.
   
“I always go up to McDonald’s on Harverster Square to get breakfast,” began Branson, 64. “Down at the other end of the shopping center, there’s a Shop ‘n Save. After breakfast, I went down there and started playing.”
   
A “Mega MONOPOLY™” ticket he had purchased yielded no prizes, but the “Silver Anniversary” ticket made him start to shake.
   
“I scratched all the numbers, and they were all winners,” he recalled. “I was sitting down, and I scratched the first one (prize) in the corner and it was $20,000. I about fell off my chair! I scratched the other ones, and added it up:  $250,000.”
     
Branson quickly headed to the St. Louis Lottery office to claim his prize.
   
“I got my sister drive me over here,” he said. “I was afraid I would be too nervous to drive.”
   
The former General Motors employee has been working part-time at Ameristar Casino. Branson said the windfall would allow him to “fully retire.” 
   
“It’s pretty good timing for this,” he added.
   
Branson mentioned that family members would benefit and that he might use some to buy a new car. He has won smaller prizes before, the largest being a $2,100 prize a few years ago. He admitted to winning $1,000 within the last week.
He offered this advice for other Lottery players:
   
“Don’t overdo it,” he suggested. “But have fun with it, and play within your means.”

“Missouri Lottery’s Silver Anniversary” is a $10 game that officially began Jan. 22. The game features six top prizes of $250,000, of which, three still remain. In addition to winning prizes instantly, players can enter non-winning “Silver Anniversary” tickets into a second-chance promotion for the chance to win $1 million. The next entry deadline is 5 p.m. on Sept. 13.

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