2002-01-07 15:46:33.0


Story Photo A St. Louis man stayed home New Year’s Eve and counted his blessings after discovering he held the winning $1.1 million Missouri Lotto ticket from the Dec. 29 drawing. Marvin Thomas, 65, said he didn’t mind staying home New Year’s Eve after discovering the win. "I wanted to stay home to guard it," Thomas said. "I still can’t believe it though." Thomas, who has been a juvenile officer for the St. Louis City Family Court Juvenile Division for the past 35 years, said he plans to continue working. "This is my retirement bonus," Thomas said. "When you go into retirement, you always have concerns, but this will definitely help out. I’m planning to make some good investments to make it last a long time." Thomas said he discovered he held the winning ticket Sunday when he compared the numbers on his ticket to those printed in the newspaper. "I really thought my eyes were failing me," he said when he saw the number combinations matched. "I called my brother who’s visiting from Mobile, Ala., and he said ’I guess you’re a millionaire.’ I hadn’t thought about it like that before. It’s really hard to believe." Thomas said he feels very lucky to have his new "retirement bonus," because it alleviates concerns he had about retirement. "I’m going to keep working," he said. "I’m not going to make any changes for a while. I’m really close to my family, and that’s not going to change either. This isn’t going to change me. I’m still going to be the same old Marvin." Thomas purchased his winning ticket at Salama Super Market, 4873 St. Louis Ave. He let the computer select the winning combination on his $1 ticket. The winning numbers were: 12, 15, 17, 33, 36 and 41. The Salama Super Market will receive a check for $11,000 - an amount equal to 1 percent of the jackpot - for selling the winning Lotto ticket. To date, 173 jackpot tickets worth $1 million or more have been sold since the Missouri Lottery began nearly 16 years ago. Of those tickets, 126 were Lotto tickets.

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