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April 11, 2012

'Mega' Mania: Cedar Hill Woman Claims $250,000 from Historic Jackpot Run

Story Photo audio icon A Cedar Hill woman didn’t capture a slice of the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot on March 30, but she was the lone Missouri Lottery player to win a $250,000 prize. Roberta Riester, 43, said the decision to purchase a ticket at all was out of character, but in hindsight, she is “really happy” to have tried her luck.
           
“I never play,” Riester explained. “I was at the gas station (U-Gas, 7005 Highway NN at Highway 30, in Cedar Hill), and the guy in front of me bought five. The lady behind the counter has known me for 18 years, and she’s like, ‘Do you want to buy some?’ I said, ‘Yeah, give me five. What the heck.’”        
           
The day after the drawing, Riester jokingly asked her boyfriend if they had lost. He said, “Let’s check!”
           
The pair turned on the computer and checked the numbers at Molottery.com.
           
“He was reading them off, and I was like, ‘You looked at my ticket, didn’t you?’” she recalled.
           
In a state of disbelief, the couple went to the nearest gas station to scan the ticket. “Sure enough,” Riester’s decision to buy five tickets paid off, as she won on the fourth ticket she purchased.
           
As for plans for the windfall, Riester intends to pay off her home, buy a new vehicle and help her three children, one of whom is about to become a first-time driver.
           
Even though Riester won a quarter of a million dollars, she said she’ll still require her teenager to “pay at least something toward a car.”
           
“I always tell my kids that nobody can get anything for free in life,” she shared.
           
Riester may not have received her winning Mega Millions ticket for free, but even the thriftiest of shoppers would agree that the $1 she spent on the winning Quick Pick ticket was a deal.
          
“It’s nice to always have something tucked aside,” she concluded with a chuckle.
           
Mega Millions is a multi-lottery game that features jackpots starting at $12 million.  Drawings are held on Tuesday and Friday nights at 10 p.m.  The winning numbers from the Mega Millions drawing on March 30 were:  2, 4, 23, 38 and 46.    

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