A Wal-Mart dispatcher claimed a $25,000 Missouri Lottery prize on April 10. Elizabeth Whitwell of St. James said she buys a Scratchers ticket every day she works. She purchased a “Lucky 7s Playbook” at Country Mart, 319 N. Jefferson in St. James, that concealed the $25,000 prize.
“So, I go inside the place and cash in what I won on the weekend,” she began. “She gave me $25 back and said, ‘Everybody has been buying these Lucky 7s. They’re such a winner.’ I said, ‘OK, give me one.’”
Though Whitwell normally plays the $5 games, she decided to take a chance on the new game. Her advice for other Lottery players is “take what they give you.”
“I went in to buy a Pick 3 ticket, like 2-2-2 or whatever he told me to buy, and the girl just hit Quick Pick,” she explained. “I said, ‘Oh, just give it here. But he wants blah, blah, blah.’ I took it, and the next morning, I got up and I had won. But the ticket wasn’t meant for me. You see? Listen.”
Whitwell said she took her “Playbook” down the road to fetch dinner for her son, John. While she waited, she began scratching the ticket.
“I called him to ask him what he wanted for dinner,” said Whitwell. “I scratched it off, and I go, ‘I won $500. I won $1,000. I won $10,000!’ And then he goes, ‘Just get home!’”
After getting back to their farm in St. James, she began to tally the prizes on the ticket, which eventually added up to $25,000.
“It’s the largest I’ve ever won,” she declared. “I’m so excited.”
Whitwell said she would use the money to pay off the truck for her husband, Raymond.
“I called him yesterday, and I said, ‘Guess what I’m going to do for you, baby? I’m going to pay your truck off for you! I just won $25,000!’ It just doesn’t seem real,” she concluded.
Raymond drives a big rig for Wal-Mart and recently said he would feel better about retirement if his truck was paid off. Now his retirement is on track for November.
John, who runs the family farm, said his father wanted to retire “about the time the roads got bad” in the winter.
Whitwell, 54, said she’ll remain dedicated to playing, including one of her favorite games, Show Me Cash with EZ Match.
“I play Show Me Cash every day,” she admitted. “I’ve got to win!”
She also participates in the Lottery’s Points For Prizes® program, where players earn points for non-winning tickets that they can trade for merchandise. She joked that she used points to send a mailbox to her daughter for Christmas.
“But the reason I did it is because they live on the corner of a subdivision, and the mailbox opens from the back so the kids don’t have to go into the street,” she explained.
“Lucky 7s Playbook” is a $20 game that officially began March 31. The first of its kind in Missouri, the ticket features six different games in a convenient book. Players can win up to $250,000 instantly.