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April 29, 2013

Change in Work Schedule Leads Prep Cook to $100,000 Payday

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Joseph Saller of O’Fallon “was not in the greatest mood” when his boss asked him to work on his regular day off. His demeanor transformed when he realized that because of the change in plans, he ended up holding a Missouri Lottery ticket worth $100,000 on his way home. 
           
The 57-year-old prep cook explained that after finishing his shift at Red Lobster, where he’s worked for 33 years, he stopped to cash $20 worth of winning Lottery tickets he’d bought on his way to work on April 22. While at Shop ‘n Save, 100 Jungerman Road in St. Peters, he purchased two “$1,000,000 Classic Cash” games.
           
“I went in the parking lot, and I started scratching,” Saller recounted, adding that he “started shaking” after uncovering the $100,000 prize amount.
           
The father-of-three said he only had two minutes remaining on his cell phone battery, so he used that time to make a quick call to his middle daughter.
           
“She started screaming,” he shared. “She’s like, ‘Dad, are you sure you won?’ I said, ‘Lauren, I won!’ She met me at my house. We double-checked it.”
           
Saller joked that he kept the ticket close to him all day, noting he “was scared” to let it out of his sight.
           
“I’ve won $500 a couple times on this same game, and I always tell the kids, ‘Well, I haven’t broken even yet,’” he teased. “Now I can say I broke even!”
           
The prize will “make life a little bit easier” for Saller, who intends to use the windfall to take a vacation and pay bills.
           
In addition to planning a trip to his favorite summer spot, Clearwater, Fla., he will also head to the West Coast. 
           
“My oldest daughter is getting ready to move to California, so I can afford to take a plane trip out to see my grandkids,” he added.
           
He summed up his Lottery-winning experience as “a thrill!”
           
$1,000,000 Classic Cash” is a $10 game with a top prize of $1 million.

 

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