Leo Bell of Imperial had planned on unwinding after a 12-hour shift, but an unexpected turn of events left him jumping up and down, “high-fiving” and hugging co-workers in celebration of a Missouri Lottery win.
The 51-year-old kitchen manager at Weber’s Front Row, 3930 Vogel Road in Arnold, was sitting at the bar when he decided to purchase a Club Keno ticket for the drawing on April 21. Bell considers the $6 he paid to be “money well spent,” because he ended up winning a total of $55,071 on a progressive 8-spot ticket.
After realizing he’d won, Bell joked that he “might’ve cried a little” while sharing the good news with his 20-year-old son on the phone. The generous first-time Lottery winner then proceeded to buy not only co-workers a round of drinks, but he also treated complete strangers dining in the restaurant to a cold beverage.
As for how he’ll use the prize money, he explained that he and his son have experienced “hard times” in the past, but the Lottery win “will really make things a lot easier.”
Topping Bell’s list of what he’ll do with the prize money is a trip to the orthodontist to get braces for his son “that were long overdue.” With the rest of the windfall, he intends to get a new vehicle, save, invest and donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
“Words can’t describe it,” Bell revealed, referring to his newfound wealth. “You always think, ‘Well maybe I can get lucky and win something.’ God looked out for me and helped me out.”
Bell noted that he used his own numbers to win the prize.
“One of the numbers is my birth year, and one of them is my son’s birth month,” he said.
Before leaving the Lottery’s St. Louis office, he made sure to plug his restaurant, noting that “Weber’s Front Row has great food and great employers.”
“I’m fortunate to be working there,” he concluded graciously.
Club Keno is a daily Draw Game with drawings every four minutes. Players choose how many numbers, also called “spots,” to play and win prizes based on the number of matches. By adding Bulls-Eye and Double Bulls-Eye to the ticket, players can win even larger prizes. Originally only available in age-controlled environments, Club Keno is now available at any Missouri Lottery retail location as Keno To Go.