Twenty-six-year-old Debra “Deb” Endicott of Billings is the newest Missouri Lottery-made millionaire, thanks to uncovering a top prize on a “$1,000 A Week For Life” Scratchers ticket. Top-prize winners can either receive their winnings as an annuity (guaranteed for at least 20 years at $52,000 a year; total of $1,040,000) or a lump-sum payment ($760,000).
The first-time Lottery winner said it was a hankering for an energy drink that led her to Kum & Go, 414 N. Public Ave. in Clever, where she made a last-minute decision to purchase the ticket that changed her life.
Her adrenaline really kicked in when she learned she’d won “more money than I could ever dream of.”
“I checked it more than a couple times,” Endicott revealed with a laugh. “I scratched off the winning numbers, and then I kept looking back at the matching numbers, and then I read the back (of the ticket) making sure I wasn’t breaking any rules. Then I flipped it back over again.”
Despite quadruple checking her ticket, she wasn’t satisfied. So, she enlisted the help of a friend.
“Is this real?” she asked a neighbor, fearing she was missing something.
After hearing she’d “really won” from someone else, she started to believe her good fortune wasn’t just a figment of her imagination.
While claiming her prize at the Lottery’s Springfield office, Endicott declared she’d use the windfall to “invest and get a house.”
“I won’t ever have to worry about a rent payment again,” she beamed. “I would definitely like to invest in some bonds, so it accumulates over time.”
As for her day job as a quality control specialist, not much will change.
“I’m still going to continue to work and keep my job,” she explained, adding that the win is “definitely a blessing.”
“It’s really hard to believe and comprehend right now,” she reflected.
“$1,000 A Week For Life” a $2 game that offers a top prize of $1,000 a week for life. Endicott claimed the second of three top prizes available in the game. The first top prize was claimed by a 30-year-old man from House Springs.