2011-09-08 09:13:17.777

Columbia Man Strives To Be Rent-Free After Lottery Win

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Les Masters, 46, almost missed his chance at a $50,000 Scratchers prize. But he says a last-minute decision to purchase a Missouri Lottery “Bedazzled” ticket at Petro Mart, 500 N. College Ave. in Columbia, changed his life.

“On Sundays, when I can, I like to go down there to get coffee and Scratchers tickets,” he said. I wasn’t going to buy the ticket, because I don’t really like ‘Bedazzled’ – well, I didn’t at the time,” he laughed.

After uncovering three diamonds – and earning the game’s top prize of $50,000 – Masters says he is looking to the future.

“I’m looking into houses and being rent-free,” he said. “This will be a life-changing deal for me.”

Adding to the excitement of his win, he noted that he had to “guard the ticket with my life for two days” while waiting for the Lottery’s offices to open following the Labor Day holiday.

“I hid it in the Bible and even took that Bible to work with me and put it in my locker,” he added.

Bedazzled” is a $3 ticket that officially began Aug. 13. More than $5 million in prizes remain unclaimed in the game.

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