2001-02-16 09:26:20.81


The phrase "Keep On Truckin’" lost its meaning to a Pine Bluff, Ark., truck driver after he found out the Missouri Lottery ticket that he bought in Cardwell for the Feb. 7 drawing was worth $2.7 million. Roy Thayer, 63, said he retired from his trucking job the day he found out. Thayer and his wife, Joan, 63, claimed their prize Tuesday in Springfield. "I quit right then," Thayer told Lottery officials, when he described finding out he had won the morning after the drawing. The Thayers decided to take their prize money in one cash payment of approximately $1,350,000 before taxes. Thayer said the first thing they plan to do "as soon as they get the money" is to take a trip to Phoenix, Ariz., to see their 7-year-old grandson, whom they’ve never seen in person. "There are a few states I haven’t been in, so we may travel to those, too," he added. In addition to being able to travel more, Thayer said a few years in the future he would like to buy a house on a lake and a boat. He also has been eyeing a maroon Cadillac. The Thayers are the parents of four grown children, 12 grandchildren and one grandchild who is "on the way." They will celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary in June. "We’ve been blessed," Thayer said. Thayer purchased his winning ticket at Mr. T’s Riverside in Cardwell on Feb. 5, on his way to a delivery in Kennett. He let the computer generate the combination of numbers on his winning ticket. They were: 2, 4, 6, 19, 25 and 26. Mr. T’s Riverside will receive a check for $27,000, an amount equivalent to 1 percent of the jackpot, for selling the winning ticket. To date, 162 jackpot tickets worth $1 million or more have been sold since the Missouri Lottery began nearly 15 years ago. Of those tickets, 117 were sold through the Lotto game.

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