The holiday season got kick-started with a surprise that left one registered nurse’s heart racing. Larry Lippitt of Wyandotte, Okla., uncovered $50,000 on a Missouri Lottery “Bearing Gifts” Scratchers ticket on Halloween. The 60-year-old claimed the prize the following day at the Lottery’s Springfield office.
The Ozarks Community Hospital employee was motivated to buy that particular ticket, because he looked up the remaining prizes left on the game at MOLottery.com, and he saw that five $50,000 top prizes were yet to be claimed. So, when he stopped at Casey’s General Store, 2764 W. 32nd St. in Joplin, he tried his luck.
“I just started scratching and seeing more socks (stocking symbols),” Lippitt recalled. “I kept re-counting – two or three times – just to make sure that I wasn’t hallucinating!”
His next step was to call his partner, who was working at a nearby hospital.
“The first thing I said was, ‘How much do we owe on the house?’” he remembered, before sharing the good news. “In the back, I heard one of the doctors yell out, ‘Tell him he’s my new best friend!’”
Lippitt teased that he was “watching the ticket like you don’t know what” the night before he claimed the prize.
“I figured the best place to hide it was to hang it on the refrigerator, mixed in with all of the stuff,” he revealed.
Lippitt said he considers the prize “a nice Christmas present,” noting he’ll use the windfall to pay off his home mortgage.
“It will be darn good – that’s 15 years of house payments we don’t have to worry about,” he added. “The only thing I’m going to do now is pay off the Suburban. Then I’ll be out of debt!
“It added a little zip to the day,” he concluded, in regards to his Lottery-winning experience.
“Bearing Gifts” is a $3 ticket with a top prize of $50,000. Players can enter non-winning tickets into the “Dashing Through The Snow” second-chance promotion for an opportunity to score warehouse dash trips to Chicago, $1,000 shopping sprees and $500 cash prizes.