2002-08-19 13:46:48.0


video icon A 63-year-old Ste. Genevieve man can add $2.8 million to his retirement nest egg after matching all six numbers in the July 31 Missouri Lotto game. Ernest "Ernie" Weiler Sr. said he plans to use his prize money to buy a pontoon boat, a "place on the water" and a new truck. He also plans to do some fishing.

"I’m still going to be Ernie Weiler," he said confidently. "I’m going to fish and try to keep my health."

Weiler, who has been retired from the frozen food business for the past 10 years, said he also plans to pay off a few bills and invest some of his winnings.

"You always wonder, ’what would I do if I won the lottery,’ and now that it happened, I wonder, ’now what do I do?’" he said.

Weiler said he and his brother in Texas had talked about not waiting until there was a huge lottery jackpot to play. He said they decided that even $1 million was a lot of money, so he started playing Missouri Lotto. His win came about four weeks after he started playing.

Weiler, the father of five grown children, purchased his winning ticket at Rhodes 101 Stop in Ste. Genevieve. He bought $3 worth of plays, and he let the computer pick his numbers. The winning combination was: 13, 15, 24, 31, 36 and 41.

Rhodes 101 Stop will receive a check for $28,000 - an amount equal to 1 percent of the jackpot - for selling the winning Lotto ticket.

To date, 179 jackpot tickets worth $1 million or more have been sold since the Missouri Lottery began 16 years ago. Of those tickets sold, 132 were from the Lotto game.

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Players must be 18 years or older to purchase Missouri Lottery tickets.

*In the event of a discrepancy, official winning numbers prevail over any numbers posted on this website.