From Tacos to Jackpot – Boise Man Claims Largest Ultimate Diamond Jackpot Prize

Tuesday night is $1 taco night at Stubs Sports Pub in east Boise.  As a regular, David Smith and his wife Dianna ventured in last night to get something to eat and play a few lottery tickets while they waited for their daughter who was in dance class at a nearby studio.

Sometime after ordering his food and buying an Ultimate Diamond Jackpot ticket, Smith won the largest jackpot prize in the game’s history of $369,818.  Ultimate Diamond Jackpot plays like a Scratch Game only it’s produced by a Lottery terminal.  News of Smith’s big win spread quickly through the Sports Pub.

David Smith

“I was pretty much in shock. Once I saw I won the jackpot, I got out of there quickly. I just left and went to my truck,” admitted Smith.  “Then I called my wife and told her to grab our food to go.  Everyone inside the Pub knew I’d won.”

“This is unreal,” added Smith, who claimed his winnings from the Idaho Lottery the next day, Wednesday morning.

Smith plans to use his winnings to support his daughter’s education.  He also plans to take an all-inclusive trip to Mexico later this year.

For their part in selling the winning ticket, Stubs Sports Pub received a bonus from the Idaho Lottery of $20,000.

Ultimate Diamond Jackpot debuted in August of 2016.  The previous, largest jackpot winner was nearly one year ago to the day – a $322,000 winner sold in Preston on June 1, 2017.

The Idaho Lottery is still looking for two other jackpot winners from the same family of games, both on tickets sold earlier in May.  The Idaho Jackpot game has one unclaimed prize winner for $66,806 on a ticket sold in Bingham County.  And the Big Money Jackpot game has an unclaimed prize winner of $48,579 on a ticket sold in Kootenai County.

News Around Idaho

TREASURE VALLEY

Wednesday, May 30 was a special day for Ella Morgan.  Not because she won $50,000 on the Scratch Game Aces and 8s that day, but because it would have been her grandmother’s 98th birthday.  A regular Lottery player, Ella went to the Jacksons on Karcher Road in Nampa that morning just like she always does, bought, and then won the first top prize of $50,000 on Aces and 8s.

Ella Morgan

“Couldn’t have been a better day for this,” said Ella who has her grandmother’s birthday tattooed on her right calf.  “Can’t win if you don’t play.  And I won today.”

Ella plans to pay some bills, support her family, and possibly invest a little in some real estate with her winnings.

NORTHERN IDAHO

It is a very long way from Fairbanks, Alaska to Lewiston and Orofino, but for Beulah Dahlin the trip was worth making – especially when she won $30,000 on Black Cat Bingo.  There is no state Lottery in Alaska, but when Beulah visits her family in the Clearwater Valley area, she always plays.

Beulah Dahlin

“I had not had any luck at all playing in Oregon.  So when I got to Lewiston, I saw the black cat game.  Usually a black cat is bad luck but since I had not had any luck, I thought why not,” said Beulah.  “I bought two. The first one did not win, but the second one did.”

Beulah handed the clerk the ticket to check it and he told her she needed to visit Boise because it was a big winner.  Then she thought she’d only won $520, but the clerk told her he could pay that claim.  This was larger and she needed to visit Boise.  Another 270 miles and $30,000 later, Beulah claimed her prize.

The Black Cat Bingo winning ticket was sold at Stinker Store in north Lewiston.

MAGIC VALLEY

Burley’s Bonnie James dropped by the Lottery offices in mid-May with what she thought was a Mega Millions ticket worth $10,000.  Her ticket matched four of the first five numbers and had matched the Megaball.  But what she went home with was twice as nice!

Bonnie James

It turns out James had purchased the Megaplier feature, which turned her $10,000 winner into a $20,000 winner.

She bought her winning ticket at Mr. Gas on Overland in Burley.  James is excited to put her winnings toward a down payment on a house.

EASTERN IDAHO

It must be Megaplier month in Idaho.  Brett Judkins of Idaho Falls won $40,000 on a Mega Millions ticket her purchased from the Maverik on the corner of Sunnyside and Highway 26 – the Yellowstone Highway.

Brett Judkins

Judkins’s ticket matched four of the first five numbers and the Megaball, plus it had the Megaplier feature.  Megaplier is an additional $1 per play at the time of purchase and multiplies non-jackpot winning tickets up to as much as $5 million.  By matching four of the first five and the Megaball, Judkins’ $10,000 winner became a $40,000 winner when the Megaplier of 4 was selected.

News Around The Nation

 NEW JERSEY

NJ Lottery Logo

New Jersey Lottery officials say a single ticket sold at a New Jersey grocery store won the Powerball jackpot worth an estimated $315.3 million on May 19, 2018.

The Lottery says the winning ticket for Saturday night’s drawing was sold at a Shoprite in Hackensack, Bergen County. The ticket matched all five white balls and the Powerball to win the jackpot, which has a $183.2 million cash value.

Acting New Jersey Lottery Executive Director John White says officials encourage the winner to sign the back of the winning ticket, make a copy of both sides and put it in a safe place, and then contact Lottery headquarters.

As of press time, the winner had not come forward to claim their prize.

MISSOURI

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In a serendipitous turn of events, a Bonne Terre, Missouri couple had some trouble sleeping after discovering their fourth Powerball ticket, that they almost didn’t purchase, was worth $1 million.

On the evening of May 5, Gerald and Norma Rokan were on their way home from church when they stopped at Chuck and BJ’s, 919 Benham St., in Bonne Terre. While there, Gerald Rokan picked some Powerball tickets using Quick Pick.

“I had money in my billfold. I had a five and one single that I saw. And as she was starting to get me my tickets, I said, ‘Well, go ahead and give me another one because I found two more dollars,’” said Gerald Rokan. “And my comment to her was, ‘This might be an indicator.’”

And when Gerald Rokan looked through his tickets, it was that fourth ticket he bought with the extra $2 he found that matched all five white-ball numbers, making his winning ticket worth $1 million. But he didn’t realize the extent of his win at first.

“At that time I thought, ‘I better try these other glasses,’” said Gerald Rokan, as his wife laughed. “I just kept comparing it, but I had no idea what I had won. I mean, it shows on that printout, but it still wasn’t registering.”

Once his wife came home, Gerald Rokan asked her to sit down because he had something good to tell her. He held up the ticket in his hand, but she didn’t believe him. It wasn’t until his son pointed out that it (winning numbers breakdown) showed one $1 million ticket had been sold in Missouri that both Gerald and Norma Rokan realized this might be real.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing!” said Gerald Rokan.

CALIFORNIA

Group of 22 Las Vegas Co-Workers Come Forward to Claim Nearly $2 Million Powerball Prize!

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They have been trying. Boy, oh boy, have they been trying. We’re talking years of never giving up. It just goes to show faith and determination can indeed pay off – literally!

A group of 22 workers from a Las Vegas construction company have been pooling their money every month for more than a decade to play Powerball and Mega Millions. Their loyalty finally paid off when they won a staggering $1,999,845 Powerball prize!

These lucky 22 friends work together at Las Vegas Paving Corp. They split nearly $2 million after matching five of the six numbers from the January 31 Powerball draw. The group’s winning numbers were 4-7-14-46 and 59.

Ironically, they missed the red Powerball number 22, which is the number of coworkers who pool their money! The group would have won the estimated $128 million jackpot that night, but alas, they had red Powerball number 13. But nobody is complaining!

“For some people, this is a life-changer,” said Kris Ann Molitor, who works in the company’s maintenance division. “To even get (and split) this amount of money, it’s a life-changer for all of us!”

This same group of 22 has been trying to hit it big for more than a decade. Tom Hampton faithfully collects all the money from his colleagues and, with his wife, makes the roughly 45-mile monthly pilgrimage to the Primm Valley Lotto store in Nipton, California (I-15 and Stateline). They purchase four weeks’ worth of Powerball and Mega Millions Advance Play tickets.

So how did Hampton find out his group of 22 won nearly $2 million? “I woke up to a text from a co-worker (Kirk Molitor),” Hampton recalled. “I thought it was a joke at first. But then I went to work and started telling everyone who didn’t already know (that we were millionaires)!”

“I think for a lot of us, once we saw that money in our bank accounts, we were like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s real. It’s really happened.’ Like I said, for a lot of us, it’s a game-changer,” Molitor said.

The group rented a private bus to claim their lucky ticket at the California Lottery’s Inland Empire District Office in San Bernardino, CA. And get this: “As a matter of fact, on the bus ride (from Las Vegas to San Bernardino) we stopped in Barstow (California) and a lot of us bought [Scratchers] tickets!”

As for the winners who split the nearly $2 million prize (before federal taxes): “Some people are taking vacations, some are investing in their kids’ college funds,” explained Molitor, who is acting as spokesperson for her co-workers. “My husband Kirk and I were able to pay our house off with the winnings and are now debt-free!”

The big question now – is the group of 22 still interested in playing the California Lottery, and making that nearly one-hour monthly drive to Stateline? “Of course! Why stop now?” Hampton said. “I already have everyone’s money for the next draws!”

VIRGINIA

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Monica Powers had a strange feeling before the May 2 Powerball drawing. She had won $16 in a recent drawing and decided to use it to play Powerball.

“I just thought, ‘Roll the dice,’” the Richmond woman said.

So she bought a ticket at 3 Chopt Market, 7000 Three Chopt Road in Richmond. She used Easy pick, allowing the computer to randomly select the numbers on her ticket.

The next morning, she checked the winning numbers and couldn’t believe what she saw.

“I looked at the winning numbers again and thought, ‘Wait a minute! I think I have these numbers!’” she said.

She matched the first five numbers, missing only the Powerball number, to win $1 million.

When she showed up at the Virginia Lottery’s Richmond headquarters to claim her prize, she brought a home-made sign reading, “I love VA. Thank you for a million reasons to love it even more!!!!”

Get Ready for Sizzlin’ Summer

Get ready.  The Idaho Lottery is putting the sizzle into summer and we are getting you geared up for it – literally, with a family of games that could win you up to $66,000 in top prizes and the ultimate dream barbeque prize packages!

WHAT’S IN THE ULTIMATE DREAM BBQ PRIZE PACK ($1,500 VALUE):

  • Traeger Renegade Elite with pellets and grill cover
  • Yeti Tundra 45 Hard-side Cooler plus a Yeti 4 lb Ice Pack
  • Two Double R Ranch Beef Bundles including:

Best of the West

  • 1 – Prime Cowboy Steaks (2 lbs each)
  • 2 – Filet Mignons (8 oz each)
  • 2 – Boneless Ribeyes (14 oz each)
  • 2 – Ground beef packages (1 lb)
  • 2 – Beef Frank packages (4 pack)

Big Steak Gift

  • 1 – Prime Cowboy Steaks (2 lbs each)
  • 2 – Boneless Ribeyes (14 oz each)
  • 2 – T-Bone Steaks (1.4 lb)
  • 2 – Porterhouse Steaks (1.5 lbs)

That’s over 15 pounds of premium beef from Double R Ranch.

HOW TO ENTER:

How do you get in on this sizzlin’ excitement?  It’s as easy as igniting your new Traeger.  Beginning May 7, 2018, enter any non-winning Sizzlin’ summer family of tickets for your chance to win.  One ticket equals one entry.  You may enter any of the Sizzlin’ Summer games, including the $1 Sizzlin’ Grill Money, $2 Sizzlin’ Beach Bucks, $5 Sizzlin’ Campfire Cash, and the $1 InstaPlay game Sizzlin’ Summer Cash.  Non-winning tickets may be submitted through the Idaho Lottery’s VIP Club or via tele-entry at 208-334-4656.

DRAWING INFO:

Drawings will be held once a week.  To be eligible, all entries must be submitted by 11:59 pm Mountain Time each Friday, beginning with May 25, 2018.  Every week for six weeks we’ll select one winner. Entries do not carry over from one draw to the next, so you must enter each drawing for a chance to win.  The last entry is on June 29, 2018 with the final draw taking place just in time for the 4th of July.

NEED MORE SUMMER FUN?

Be sure to join the Idaho Lottery’s Wooh Crew at select Maverik locations across Idaho this summer.

Adventure’s first stop will host over two dozen events in their stores from Rigby to Hayden and all points in between.  At the events, purchase a $10 Sizzlin’ Pack and then play Plinko for prizes from the Idaho Lottery. Prizes may include free Lottery tickets and serious summer prizes.  Players who purchase two $10 Sizzlin’ Packs are also entered to win the Maverik pack that includes an iconic, 100 oz. Maverik Mug and a $25 Maverik gift card. Maverik prizes are awarded at each event. And not to be missed, the frozen t-shirt contest. Once during each event, the on-site radio station will select contestants for a frozen t-shirt contest where the winner receives $50 in Sizzlin’ Campfire Cash Scratch tickets and the runner up receives one free Sizzlin’ Campfire Cash ticket.  The rules are simple – get the t-shirt thawed, unfolded, and on over your clothes before your competition.  It’s the best way to cool, other than winning cold hard cash, of course.

The events run from May 22, 2018 to June 27, 2018.

THESE GAMES ARE EASY TO PLAY, FUN, AND THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!

$1 – SIZZLIN’ SUMMER CASH – InstaPlay

The Idaho Lottery is definitely putting the sun into summer with the $1 InstaPlay game with Sizzlin’ Summer Cash.  This terminal-based Scratch game has a top prize of $1,000.  It’s the feel good ticket of the summer and it’s available from either the cashier’s terminal or a Lottery DreamTouch vending machine.

$1 – SIZZLIN’ GRILL MONEY

No lighter fluid required for this game; the coals are already smoking hot when you play Sizzlin’ Grill Money.  Be careful when you touch this game: it’s on fire with prizes, up to the top prize of $5,000.  That’s a lot of beef you could grill up when you win.

$2 – SIZZLIN’ BEACH BUCKS

Collect all your driftwood, pull out the plaid blanket, and settle in for beach fun, sun, and winning.  Sand castles, starfish and beach balls along with a beach chair to relax in while you scratch all ten sizzling money bags full of prizes.  Win $10,000 and you’ll be able to have your own beach party! Just be careful not to burn your toes if the sand is too hot!

$5 – SIZZLIN’ CAMPFIRE CASH

Pitch your tent and set up camp for a chance to win the biggest prize from the lottery’s newest family of games this summer, $50,000.  Sizzlin’ Campfire Cash has over $1.2 million in prizes between $10 and $50.  Set against the warmth of a campfire and the backdrop of Idaho’s mountain range, Sizzlin’ Campfire Cash is one of the hottest tickets this summer!  With twenty sizzling bags of money on each game, you’ll have plenty of chances to win, just remember to douse the campfire thoroughly when you’ve won!

New! Hot Ticket Sweepstakes!

The long range forecast for this summer is in and it calls for hot tickets with hot winnings!  It’s Hot Ticket Sweepstakes, the new $5 game with a guaranteed top prize of $100,000!  Grab the swim suits, pump up the donut floats, break open the beach umbrella, and lather up with sunscreen because this game is H-O-T, HOT – the hottest ticket of the summer.

Hot Ticket Sweepstakes kicks-off at 4:00 am MT on Monday, May 21, 2018.  There are only 100,000 of the $5 tickets available in the game and when they’re gone, they’re gone!  This game features other prizes besides the top prize of $100,000 including twenty-five $1,000 prizes and one thousand $50 prizes.  In all there are more than 5,400 prizes in the entire game.  That’s so hot, it’s practically on fire!

PrizeTable

FINAL WINNING NUMBER ANNOUNCEMENT: The Idaho Lottery will draw for the winning numbers and the guaranteed top prize of $100,000 just three business days after the game sells out.

Be the first to play, play regularly, and then enjoy winning.  Hot Ticket Sweepstakes, it’s your HOT ticket to a COOL $100,000!

News Around the Nation

NEW JERSEY

The sole winner of the world’s 10th largest lottery jackpot moved last year to New Jersey and works as a production manager at food-service manufacturer, state lottery officials announced.

Richard Wahl, 47, of Vernon Township, N.J., bought his Mega Millions ticket, worth $533 million, the day before the March 30 drawing at a convenience store located on a route to work. He opted to take $324 million in cash now rather than the full value in installments over 30 years.

“We’re a humble family, and we’re going to keep our roots,” Wahl said Friday as lottery officials presented his oversized check. “We are not the type to run out and spend all the money and have a great time and party it up.”

Ameer Krass, who identified Wahl earlier by looking at video surveillance footage around the time officials said the winning ticket was sold, called Wahl a regular at his gas station mini-mart but kept mum on the winner’s name.

Wahl moved to New Jersey in July from Michigan and works at AAK Foodservice. He said he and his family had not made a decision about moving, but his decision for the cash prize means he will collect about $175 million after federal, state, and local taxes.

At first, Wahl said he looked at the ticket, his gateway to the fourth largest Mega Millions jackpot, and thought he had won $1 million.

“I was excited, life-changing money,” he said. He became emotional when recounting the moment he realized he had won the grand prize.

“It didn’t sink in. It was truly amazing.” Wahl said he walked upstairs and told his wife they were going on vacation. “We hit it,” he told her.

Then they reviewed the numbers about 15 times more just to be sure, put the valuable ticket in a fireproof safe and didn’t leave the house all weekend, he said.  He claimed the prize two weeks later.

Wahl would like to rebuild a 1964 Corvette and said he hopes to do charity work with the winnings. He already has consulted a team of financial experts, who were present at the lottery’s news conference.

“For us, we believe God has a plan,” Wahl said. “It’s not only life-changing money for me, we want it to be life-changing money for others — family, friends, people in need.”

His mother has been on a reduced income in recent times, he said. Now he will be able to help her.

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NEBRASKA

Nebraska Lottery officials say a Powerball ticket worth $1 million was sold to a couple from Bennington.

Brad and Kim Brunk claimed their prize from a ticket they bought the ticket at a Cubby’s convenience store in Bennington. Their ticket matched the first five numbers in the Powerball drawing but missed on the Powerball number.

Nebraska winners

The Brunks told Nebraska Lottery officials they used the jersey numbers of her favorite Chicago Cubs baseball players for their ticket numbers. They said they’ll use the money to pay bills, set up college funds for their children and grandchildren and save for retirement.

MISSOURI

It’s not every day that Kennet “Kenny” McGuire of Clarksville purchases a Missouri Lottery Powerball ticket. In fact, it’s more like every once in a while.

“I just buy one whenever I’m at the gas station and I think about it. I’ve bought maybe five tickets so far this year,” said McGuire.

On April 4, while getting sodas at Abel’s Quik Shop, 602 S. Third St. in Louisiana, the Lottery caught McGuire’s eye.

“I bought one Quick Pick Powerball ticket and stuck it in my wallet,” recalled McGuire.

It wasn’t until the Clarksville resident and his wife, Brandi, returned to Abel’s Quik Shop 10 days later that they had the ticket checked for prizes.

“I handed the ticket to the clerk. He scanned it, and he told me that he couldn’t cash the ticket,” explained McGuire, who previously worked Abel’s Quik Shop and knows the clerk.

“I told him, ‘Well, if you can’t cash it, throw it away.’ He said, ‘No! You’re going to have to go to the Lottery office to cash this. I can’t cash it,’” recalled McGuire.

McGuire’s Powerball ticket matched four of the five white-ball numbers and the Powerball number drawn in the April 4 drawing, resulting in a $50,000 prize.

After convincing his wife that the ticket was real, the McGuires traveled to the Lottery’s St. Louis office on April 16 to claim the prize.

“She keeps joking with me, saying things like, ‘You had $50,000 in your wallet for 10 days and didn’t tell me? How selfish are you?’” laughed McGuire.

With the $50,000 prize, the McGuires are looking forward to paying off their debt and treating their growing family with a trip to Six Flags St. Louis. McGuire also plans to share a small portion of the prize with the clerk who sold him the ticket.

News Around Idaho

EMMETT

Brandi Colton was doing inventory at her store and had to be to work at 3:30 am.  Around 10:00 am, she got a break and visited the Stinker Store in Emmett.  Bleary eyed, she purchased a $5 Peel the Love Scratch ticket, played it, and won.  She stared at it and couldn’t believe she had won $50,000.

“I’m not tired anymore!  I’ve got the adrenaline pumping, I’m wide awake!” exclaimed Brandi who claimed her ticket later in the day.

Brandi plans to help family with her winnings and then take a trip to Ireland!

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MOSCOW

There is a one hour time difference between American Falls and Moscow, Idaho.  One evening, Kathleen Taylor from outside of Moscow was playing her Cowbell Cashword Scratch ticket while talking on the phone to her sister who lives in American Falls. It was getting pretty late in the evening when Kathleen discovered she had won $50,000 on the game.

“She started whooping and hollering that she’d won,” said Kathleen’s sister. “All I said to her was, ‘You did not. Shut up and go back to sleep.’  A couple of days later, here we are.”

Kathleen traveled by bus to Boise because her car had broken down while her sister drove a car over from American Falls.  The two met up in Boise with the plan they’d return to the Moscow area after claiming the prize.

The win comes as a blessing during a difficult time in Kathleen’s life. She had recently left her job to care for her terminally ill father.  She said her winnings will go to help his expenses.

Her $50,000 winning ticket was purchased at Sunset Mart in Moscow.

Kathleen Frame

DOVER

It’s not every day a household namesake wins $50,000.  And it’s not every day the household namesake is working on a project synonymous with his name.  Such is the story of Mr. Howard Johnson of Dover, Idaho.  No, he’s not THAT Howard Johnson but this Mr. Johnson just recently completed an extensive remodel on his house.  Unfortunately, he ran about $50,000 over budget.  And then he purchased a Powerball ticket from the Lancaster Market in Hayden that won him $50,000.  Maybe Howard Johnson’s alter ego name could be “Even Steven.”  Congratulations!

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CALDWELL

Larry Southern of Caldwell is a matter-of-fact individual.  And according to him, it was a just an ordinary day, like all the others. He stopped at the store, he bought a ticket, he played it, and he won.  Of course, the one un-ordinary thing for Southern that does not happen every day was his winning amount of $250,000, the first top prize on the game $250,000 Casino Nights.

Southern’s Winning ticket was sold at the Albertsons located at 415 Cleveland Blvd in Caldwell.  He plans to pay off his house and live a little more comfortably with his winnings.

Larry Southern

MAGIC VALLEY

Addison Road was the place to be in the month of April, especially if you were an InstaPlay player.  The Oasis on Addison sold a $5,000 winning Ultimate Diamond Jackpot InstaPlay ticket to Robert Clement. In addition, the Smith’s on Addison sold a $5,000 winner on the InstaPlay Bingo game to Gary Woodland!