2011-09-29 11:08:33.693

Doniphan Man Wins $18,000 Playing Pick 4

Story Photo audio icon Thomas Fite of Doniphan likes the Missouri Lottery. 
“I love it,” said Fite. “I’ve been playing ever since they started. I play every game you’ve got. Missouri has one of the better Lotteries.”
He may play all of the games, but he’s especially fond of Pick 3 and Pick 4. He buys several tickets for every drawing, and ended up with three winning tickets for the Sept. 24 evening Pick 4 drawing. He matched the winning combination of 1-7-3-2 straight, winning $6,000 on each ticket for a total of $18,000. He claimed his prizes on Sept. 27 at Lottery headquarters in Jefferson City.
Fite knew he was a winner after getting the winning numbers text alert on his cell phone, but he didn’t get too excited. He enjoys frequent wins in the games.
“I’m small time,” Fite explained. “I knew I won, but it didn’t sink in how much. You see, I’m not used to playing straight.”
Fite and his wife, Kelly, have several different combinations that they play on a regular basis. When one of their numbers comes in, they could win $50 or $350 playing straight/box on Pick 3, or larger amounts, such as $3,125, playing Pick 4. He didn’t always play straight on Pick 4, until his son talked him into giving it a try.
“He played straight all the time, and he got me convinced to try it. He told me, ‘Well, you win more money if you do that.’ I hate to play straight, because if it isn’t perfect, you don’t win anything,” said Fite. “That’s why I like straight/box.”
Fite was overjoyed with the outcome. He noticed some numbers were coming up frequently and put them together for the winning combination.  Fite almost chose a different arrangement.
“Actually, I almost played it 7-1-3-2. Thank God I didn’t,” he said resolutely.
Fite, 65, said the money would be spent on his 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He’ll put some back for his wife and family, and he said he would use some for an adventure.
“Next spring, I’m driving to Alaska. I’ve wanted to do that all my life – the Alcan highway,” he said.
You can be sure that he’ll continue to play the Lottery. Fite said he hated to miss a drawing.
“If I don’t buy the tickets, I’m a nervous wreck,” he admitted. “Of course, I give my wife half of everything I win, so I’ve got to win a bunch to break even.”
Fite purchased his winning tickets at Price Cutter Supermarket, 5504 N. 17th St., in Ozark.
Pick 4 is a twice-daily Draw Game. Players choose any combination of four numbers between zero and nine, select a play type and win prizes based on the outcome. A prize chart outlining the various options is available at Molottery.com. Drawings are conducted at 12:45 p.m. and 9 p.m. 
Pick 3 and Pick 4 players will have more chances to win in October. A promotion called “Second Shot” will feature bonus drawings and prizes.

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