2001-07-11 09:11:37.41


Independence Day may take on a whole new meaning for a Springdale, Ark., man after he won half of the $4 million Missouri Lotto jackpot on the Fourth of July. Charles "Charlie" Brooks, 62, said he always told his grandson, who is a minister in Lowell, that if he won money in the lottery, he would give him some to build a church. Now, his dream has come true. "They have been holding church in a school house," said Brooks, who was a truck driver for George’s Inc. in Springdale until he retired last Thursday after learning of his good fortune. "Now they can build a church." Brooks, who has been a truck driver for more than 40 years, said he has always wanted to see the Redwood Forest in California. He plans to buy a motor home and drive there with his wife, Doris. He also said they would share some of the prize money with their eight grown children. Brooks plans to take the cash value of his share of the jackpot, which works out to be approximately $1 million before taxes. Brooks purchased his winning ticket at Don’s Stateline Store, Highway 71 in Pineville. He let the computer pick the lucky combination, though some of the numbers also happen to be family birthdays. Those winning numbers were: 2, 9, 15, 27, 37 and 44. Don’s Stateline Store will receive a bonus check for $20,000 for selling the winning ticket. That amount is equal to 1 percent of their winner’s jackpot. Brooks isn’t the first customer to become a millionaire after shopping at Don’s. On March 20, 1999, Jerry Phillips of Bella Vista, Ark., won $1.5 million with a Lotto ticket he purchased there. Another Missouri Lottery ticket sold for the July 4 drawing also matched all six numbers drawn that night to win half of the $4 million jackpot. The second ticket was sold at 7-Eleven, 703 Union Road in St. Louis. That winner has still not come forward. OTHER INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MO LOTTERY/ARKANSAS WINNERS: 1. Brooks is longtime friends with previous Missouri Lotto winner Tom Brewer of Springdale, Ark., who won $1 million in Lotto on March 16, 1991. Brooks often "rubbed Brewer’s head for good luck." 2. Brooks is the fifth Arkansas resident to win a Missouri Lotto jackpot since the Lottery began in January 1986. 3. Brooks is the second jackpot winner from Arkansas this year. On Feb. 7, Roy and Joan Thayer of Pine Bluff, Ark., won $2.7 million with a ticket they purchased at Mr. T’s Riverside in Cardwell. 4. Brooks’ ticket is the 169th worth $1 million or more to be sold since the Missouri Lottery began. 5. Of those tickets, 122 were sold in the Missouri Lotto game. 6. Two Arkansas residents won $100,000 Powerball prizes this year with tickets purchased through the Missouri Lottery.

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