A self-employed man from Florissant won a $100,000 prize playing the Missouri Lottery. Martin Lightle, 57, bought a “Millionaire” Scratchers ticket at Howdershell Mart, 420 Howdershell in Florissant, on April 18. He scratched it in the store and ended up hugging the clerk before sharing the news with his family.
“What I normally do is scratch off all the numbers to see if they match, and all 20 matched,” he began. “So I scratch off the first one, and it was $1,000. I scratch off the second one, and it was $4,000.”
Lightle said he told the owner of the store, Raj, that he thought he had a big one. After showing him the first three figures, Raj told him to “scratch the rest of them off!” The end result was a $100,000 prize.
“And then we just hugged, and I hugged a clerk,” said Lightle with a laugh. “We high-fived for about 10 minutes straight, and then I finally settled down and stopped shaking so much.”
He said he would spend some of the money on vacations and bank the rest.
“Right now, it’s going to sit in the bank. We have a couple of small trips planned,” Lightle said. “Pay some bills right now and then sit on the money in case emergencies come up.”
When he told his family, they were as shocked as he was. Lightle showed his oldest son the winning ticket on Easter.
“He was like, ‘Wow. That is just amazing,’” he recalled. “Because that’s what everybody dreams of; hitting something big. And most of the time it doesn’t happen. It’s always the dream.”
Lightle prepares auto and motorcycle parts for chrome finishing. He said he was a regular player of Scratchers and Pick 4.
“I love the odds,” he said of Pick 4. “The bigger amount you win for less money. I mean, $125 for 50 cents, that’s pretty good.”
He said he’s won big on Pick 4 in the past and is still hoping to do it again.
“A few years back, my wife’s birthday was Nov. 14, and I hit it twice, straight/box for $7,500,” he explained. “I took the whole family to the Bahamas. I play one of my son’s birthday about four or five times.
“Keep going for the dream,” he told other players. “That’s all I do. I just keep playing.”
“Millionaire” is a $10 game that officially began May 20, 2013. The game features a top prize of $1 million. To date, more than $11 million in prizes, including one top prize, remain in the game.