One minute, Jeani Lebeau-Smith and her husband, Ricky Smith, were enjoying a Thursday afternoon lunch together; the next, they were making plans to claim a $50,000 top prize on a Missouri Lottery “Bonus Crossword” Scratchers game.
“Sometimes, we like to grab a couple of Scratchers before lunch,” Jeani said, explaining how her husband ended up purchasing the winning ticket. “And this one was just calling his name. But, actually, I like to do the ‘Crosswords,’ so he was just doing something nice for me.”
It was a kind deed that paid off for the retail store employee and her husband of 11 years, who works weatherizing houses. Soon they had forgotten all about eating lunch and went to get Ricky’s parents.
“We told them we needed to roadtrip to Springfield because we won some money,” she shared, laughing as she recalled the conversation. “They said, ‘You’re lying to us. We’ll go to Springfield with you, but we don’t believe you on the other part.”
With the winning ticket and claim form in hand, Jeani said they plan to use their prize money to pay bills.
Their winning “Bonus Crossword” ticket was purchased at Shop ‘N Go, 502 Porter Wagoner Blvd., in West Plains. “Bonus Crossword” is a $3 game that officially began July 3. It offers a bonus word feature and a top prize of $50,000. To date, more than $9.2 million in prizes remain unclaimed in the game.