2016-12-27 12:31:25.213

St. Joseph Family Heading to 'Sunshine State' Following Win

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A Buchanan County family is going to Disney World®, thanks to the mother’s $100,000 win on a Missouri Lottery “Merry Money” Scratchers ticket. Janessa Johnson, 38, bought the vacation-worthy ticket at On The Go, 2014 S. Belt Highway in St. Joseph, on Dec. 15.

“I stopped in to get gas and just looked down,” she explained of her decision to pick up the “Merry Money” ticket at the counter. “I was like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna give it a whirl and see what happens.’”

The move landed Johnson one of the game’s $100,000 top prizes.

“I couldn’t believe what I scratched, that I was seeing it right,” she added.

An ophthalmic technician, Johnson said she and her husband plan to surprise their four kids with news of the Disney trip, which will be their first big family vacation together.

Johnson’s good luck may have also been a bit contagious. She brought a friend with her to claim her winnings at the Lottery’s regional office in Independence, and that friend won $200 on a “Holiday Diamonds” ticket purchased in the lobby.

In fiscal year 2016, players in Buchanan County won more than $10.6 million in Missouri Lottery prizes. An additional $4.1 million from Lottery proceeds went to education programs in the county, and $1.2 million was paid in retailer incentives.

Merry Money” is a $5 game that started Oct. 17. To date, more than $3.9 million in prizes are still available in the game, including two more top prizes of $100,000. Remaining prizes for all Missouri Lottery Scratchers games can be tracked at here.


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