and Mike Wells ~ Southeast Missourian
Someone in Southeast Missouri just became a lottery millionaire, but no one is saying who it is.
That includes the folks at the Jackson store that sold the ticket, Country Mart at 309 E. Jackson Blvd., though the store is labeled with a Day-Glo yellow sign proclaiming, "Yes, we sold it!"
Missouri Lottery spokeswoman Susan Goedde wouldn't give any clues as to who won the $4.3 million -- even to say whether it was a man or woman.
"We always announce who it is at news conferences," she said.
But it was a man who came into the store Thursday to have his ticket checked, said assistant store manager Kevin Groves. The ticket came up as a winner.
"Pretty much he knew he'd won, but he had her run it through the machine," Groves said. "She gave him the paperwork and he went on his way."
The winner will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Monday at a news conference at the store. Goedde said the ticket cleared the validation process Friday.
Nancy Morris of Jackson saw one of the signs about the winning ticket on her way into the store and chatted with an employee.
"Oh my goodness, I hope it's nobody I know," she said laughing. "I wish good luck to whoever it is, though. Hopefully it's someone who will put the money to good use. Maybe they'll retire, travel or help out family members."
The winner has 60 days to decide whether to take a lump sum payment or yearly stipend, Goedde said. If the winner takes the lump sum, it works out to about half the total jackpot -- $2.2 million, and $1.5 million after taxes.
"That's because it isn't as much as it would be if they let it accrue the full 25 years of investment," she said.
If the winner take the yearly stipend, he or she would collect $172,000 a year and $118,680 after taxes. The Lottery is required to withhold 27 percent in federal and 4 percent in state taxes from all winnings. This is the 188th lottery-made millionaire, Goedde said.
Country Mart will receive an amount equal to 1 percent of the winnings, in this case $43,000. Groves said the store owner, Bob Huffard, hasn't decided what to do with that money.
The store has had a few $500 winners before, but nothing this large, Groves said. The staff expects a slight rise in ticket sales because of the win.
Country Mart customer Margaret Poinsett of Chaffee, Mo., is a faithful lottery player but said she sticks to the scratch-off tickets for their convenience.
"Last year, I won a 61-inch TV and a trip to the Bahamas and to Niagara Falls," she said. "This year all I won was a T-shirt, but it's a priceless T-shirt."
The winning numbers were 1-5-12-25-26-44.
335-6611, extension 137
335-6611, extension 160