Retirement just got sweeter for a Marthasville man who claimed the $2.3 million Missouri Lotto jackpot from the drawing on Jan. 2. Jim Grafrath, a 64-year-old former AT&T technician, often plays a variety of Missouri Lottery games, but it was serendipity that prompted him to buy the ticket that turned him into an instant millionaire.
“I go in there every day,” Grafrath said, referring to Infield Sports Bar and Grill, 16016 State Highway 47, in Marthasville. “I either play Keno or I buy Show Me Cash tickets. If I win a little bit on Keno, I usually buy a Lotto ticket.”
It was Grafrath’s lucky night, because he “had a few extra bucks from winning Keno,” so he played Lotto.
It wasn’t until returning home that evening that he realized his Quick Pick numbers – 2, 6, 17, 18, 22 and 33 – matched all six Lotto numbers drawn on Jan. 2.
“I figured there was a mistake somewhere,” he reminisced. “But, sure enough, they all matched. I couldn’t believe it!”
When Grafrath told his wife, Patty, he thought he’d just won millions of dollars, she replied, “You have to be kidding!” After the Grafraths double-checked the numbers to confirm their newfound wealth, the couple, who’ve been married for 26 years, began a series of “very sleepless nights.”
While claiming the prize at the Lottery’s St. Louis office, the parents-of-six joked that they’re looking forward to not only being able to pay off their home mortgage and help family members with their windfall, but they’re also excited to “finally get some sleep.”
In addition to Grafrath’s prize, Infield Sports Bar and Grill received a $5,000 incentive for selling the winning ticket.
Lotto jackpot winners can either receive their prize in one lump-sum payment, which is half of the advertised jackpot, or winners can take their prize as an annuity, which would spread out the prize in 25 annual payments.
Grafrath is the 355th Missouri Lottery-made millionaire and the 216th Missouri Lotto jackpot winner since sales began in 1986.