A mother and daughter, who have been playing the Missouri Lottery for years as “partners,” claimed a $250,000 prize from the Feb. 19 Mega Millions drawing. Odessa Chanley, 62, of East Prairie and Tina Wrzesinski, 44, of Overland, will each take half of the $250,000 prize. Chanley bought the winning Quick Pick ticket at Gas-A-Mat, 613 E. Washington St., in East Prairie. Gas-A-Mat received a $1,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
“We’ve been playing the Lottery forever,” explained Wrzensinski. “We just go partners.”
“She got married about six years ago,” added Chanley. “I told her to explain to her husband how we are Lottery partners. I buy down here, and she buys up in St. Louis. That way we have more chances.”
It certainly worked out for the dedicated players. They play Mega Millions, Powerball and Lotto every week, and this time, it was Mega Millions that finally paid off for the LPN and retired convenience store manager. News of a winning ticket sold in the area led to the winners finding out.
“My sister called and said, ‘Check your ticket, because someone at the Gas-A-Mat won $250,000.’ I said, ‘It’s probably not mine, but I’ll check it anyway,’” recalled Chanley. “When my numbers were it, I was so excited. I was walking the floor!”
Wrzesinski added that her mother was “more hyper than me,” waking her up so they could travel to St. Louis to claim the prize. She is staying with her mother in East Prairie while she recovers from a recent foot surgery, and she was still excited about the windfall.
“I’m going to pay off some bills,” said Wrzesinski. “Actually, that makes me feel really good.”
Chanley has similar plans.
“My house and my pickup – I’m paying them off,” she declared. “That way I’ll be debt-free, just like I want to be.”
They said they will continue their Lottery “partnership,” each buying tickets for the big jackpot games.
“Just keep buying (tickets),” suggested Chanley. “You might get lucky one day!”
Mega Millions is a multi-lottery Draw Game with jackpots that start at $12 million. Drawings are held on Tuesday and Friday nights.