2003-01-06 11:20:48.0


Story Photo The phrase "Happy New Year" has a whole new meaning for a 32-year-old computer consultant from St. Louis who uncovered the top prize of $100,000 in the Missouri Lottery’s "$100,000 Payday" instant game.   Steven "Steve" Wichmann (63144*) said he occasionally buys one $10 Scratchers ticket when he stops in Huck’s Food Store, 10170 Manchester in Kirkwood, to buy a soda after work.  On New Year’s Eve, when he stopped for a soda, the store was out of $10 tickets, so he bought one $5 ticket - and it turned out to be worth $100,000.

"Everyone in my wife’s family tells me I am the luckiest person," he said.

Wichmann said he and his wife of two months, Lawana, have been looking for a house to buy.

"We’ve upped our purchase price," Wichmann said after claiming his prize.   "We’ll use some of the money as a down payment on the house."

"$100,000 Payday," which went on sale Oct. 12, offers a top prize of $100,000 and a chance to win up to 20 times on each ticket.

*  winner’s zip code to help media determine coverage area

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