While some people prepare to pay end-of-the-year taxes, one lucky Missouri Lottery winner received a hefty check with the taxes paid. Antoinett Ivicsics of Columbia uncovered the second of only two $3 million available top prizes in the Lottery’s “$3,000,000 Taxes Paid” Scratchers game, making her the Lottery’s 387th millionaire.
Ivicsics, 49, dubbed the moment she became an instant millionaire at Petro Mart, 3850 N. Rangeline Road in Columbia, on Dec. 2 as “shocking.”
“I looked down, and I thought it was $3,000,” she recalled. “Then I scratched the other zeros. I said, ‘No way! There was only one (top prize) left. How did I get it?’”
The Lottery enthusiast often checks the Lottery’s website, MOLottery.com, to review how many top prizes have been claimed in Scratchers games, and she selects which games to buy based on the remaining prizes.
“I play there a lot, so they know me,” she added, noting that after one of the clerks saw how much she’d won, he took her outside and “started twirling me around.”
“They (store clerks) said if it happened to anybody, it should happen to me,” the mother of two daughters beamed, teasing that she was “too nervous to drive” after all of the excitement.
“I called my daughter to come and get me,” she remembered. “I said, ‘Jennifer, you have to come to the gas station. I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack.’”
“She said, ‘What’s wrong?’”
“I said, ‘I won $3 million!’”
“She said, ‘No, you misread it.’”
Moments later when Jennifer arrived and looked at the ticket, she became a believer. After Ivicsics returned to her Boone County home, she woke up her boyfriend, Doug, and said, “All of our worries are over!”
The couple, who’ve been together for 30 years, discussed the best way to use the windfall, coming to the conclusion that they’ll pay off their home mortgage, every bill they owe and help their family.
“It’s a little overwhelming,” she shared, referring to the entire whirlwind experience that took her from a cook at the University of Missouri’s Women and Children’s Hospital to a multi-millionaire who might not need to work another day in her life.
However, she was quick to note that she didn’t plan to retire any time soon.
“I don’t think it’s going to change my daily life when it comes to work, but it’s going to feel good getting out of bed knowing that I don’t have to go to work one more day wondering how I’m going to pay everything,” she said. “I thank God for blessing me!”
“$3,000,000 Taxes Paid” is a $20 game with a top prize of $3 million taxes-paid and a second-tier prize of $500,000 taxes-paid. Since the taxes are paid on the game’s two top prizes, the value of a top prize is actually $4,225,353, and the value of the second prize is $704,226.