2014-10-23 16:18:20.763

St. Louis Woman Claims $3.8 Million Jackpot

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Realization of her $3.8 million Missouri Lottery jackpot win took a St. Louis woman completely by surprise, almost to the point of fainting. Jenifer Elam, 50, used Quick Pick to correctly match all five numbers in the Oct. 4 Lotto drawing. The winning numbers were:  5, 14, 19, 22, 36 and 42.

Elam explained that her late father-in-law, who passed away earlier this year, had always been a big Missouri Lottery player and encouraged her and her partner, Lea Harthcock, to play, as well. After his passing, Elam had not played the Lottery again until Oct. 2, when she purchased a Lotto ticket on a whim at Gas Mart, 4036 Bayless Ave., in St. Louis.

“I didn’t even look at the numbers. I didn’t even know that I had won until I checked my ticket at another retailer two days later,” described Elam. “I checked the ticket, and I couldn’t believe what it said. So I checked it again, and it said $3.8 million again.”

Taken by surprise, the St. Louis real estate agent took the ticket to a store employee.

“I had the lady behind the counter check it, and she couldn’t believe it. So she had another manager check it, and they didn’t believe it. By the end, there were four managers who were checking my ticket,” laughed Elam.

At one point, she said the shock of the win was almost too much for her to handle.
“I thought I was going to pass out, and then I thought I was going to scream,” she shared.

After the realization set in, Elam believed that the win “was definitely a God thing.” After months of extreme budgeting and financial hardship, Elam is looking forward to some financial security. Currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree and eventually her master’s degree in social work, she said the winnings will go toward her schooling and, ultimately, retirement. The new millionaire is hoping to open her own counseling business after graduation.

While claiming her ticket at the Lottery’s St. Louis regional office, Elam shared that she is the third employee at her office to win the Missouri Lottery. In addition to Elam’s $3.8 million Lotto win, one coworker recently won a $1 million Powerball prize, and another colleague won $100,000.

Lotto winners have the option to receive their full prize amount in 25 annual payments or to take a one-time lump-sum payment equal to approximately half of the advertised jackpot. Elam selected the $1.9 million cash option.

For selling the winning ticket, Gas Mart received a bonus check for $5,000.

Lotto is a twice-weekly Draw Game with jackpots that start at $1 million. To date, there have been 227 jackpots awarded in Lotto, the longest running Missouri Lottery Draw Game.

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