A St. Charles man who stopped for gas and won $100,000 on a Missouri Lottery Scratchers ticket nearly had to go to confession to get his wife to believe him. Donald Cooper, 58, veered in to Circle K, 2702 Droste Road in St. Charles, on April 29 and bought a “$1,000,000 Payout” ticket.
“I was on my way home, and I thought I would stop and fill up the gas tank and bought a scratch-off,” he began. “Next thing I know, there were 10 numbers on it, and I thought, ‘Oh, good, I probably got $100.’”
He began to scratch off the prize amounts and was shocked to see $10,000. Thinking that he was mistaken, he continued.
“Then I scratched the rest of them, and they were all $10,000. Luckily, I wasn’t driving,” he declared, meaning that he might have caused an accident.
Cooper quickly called his wife, Mary, who was working at their Catholic church that evening.
“She wanted me to talk to the priest, because she knew that I wouldn’t lie to a priest. When I said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine. Go ahead,’ I guess she realized that if I was willing to talk to him, I must be telling the truth,” he said with a chuckle.
The next few hours were full of joy, as the Coopers’ three daughters began calling with congratulations. He indicated that he would share the prize with them.
“They all reminded me that they were my favorite,” he joked. “It’s great. I love them all to death.”
The senior field systems specialist for Pitney-Bowes said that his wife already had designs for the windfall.
“My job is to put it in the bank,” he said.
One thing he knows he might spend some on is a trip to Las Vegas.
“We’ve been wanting to go with my brother and sister-in-law to Vegas,” he explained. “They’ve never been to Vegas. We were planning on going anyway; this will just make the trip easier.”
Cooper plays other games as well. He recently won $350 on a Pick 3 Quick Pick ticket. He also occasionally buys tickets for Powerball and Mega Millions.
“With Powerball and Mega, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a fair-weather player,” he stated, noting that the jackpots for both games are currently more than $100 million. “That’s what I was getting last night.”
However, he suggested that all players “keep it under control.”
“Don’t go crazy with it, just keep it under control,” he offered.
“$1,000,000 Payout” is a $10 game that officially began Jan. 10, 2012. The game features a top prize of $1 million. To date, more than $7 million in prizes, including one top prize, remain in the game. Track prizes remaining for all Missouri Lottery Scratchers games here at MOLottery.com.