BOISE, Idaho – Driving back from a family dinner outing Sunday evening in Idaho Falls, Sarah Bell asked her husband Mike if he had any money on him. When he answered yes, she made her husband stop at the KJ’s Travel Center in Idaho Falls at 615 E Iona Road along US Highway 20 and pick up two of the Idaho Lottery’s 25th Anniversary Game Scratch tickets.
“I actually scratched the ticket on the way home and got excited when I thought we’d won $25,” explained Sarah before realizing she was holding the top prize. “I kept scratching and that $25 had a lot of zeros behind it. I started shouting that we’d won $250,000. When I got home, I was so excited, well, I lost my lunch!
“We’ve been playing the game regularly since it came out and had won $250 on it a few days before,” said Mike who then called his parents who live in Boise and asked if they could come for a visit. “Then I told them we won $250,000. I had to convince them it was not an April Fools’ joke.”
The Bell’s, a long-time couple from Rigby, Idaho, claimed the first $250,000 prize in the Idaho Lottery’s 25th Anniversary Scratch GameTM. One additional top prize of $250,000 in the game remains. The couple claimed their prize late on Monday afternoon at Lottery offices in Boise. They were joined by their family and celebrated with festive balloons, 25th Anniversary Lottery t-shirts, and two unopened bottles of non-alcoholic sparkling white grape juice. When presented with the actual winning check, Sarah became very flushed.
“Don’t worry, I’m not ill,” she said laughing. “I think that it’s finally just settled in. It’s really real. We really won!”
Mike, who works for Bonneville Industrial Supply Company and Sarah, who works for Idaho Falls Group Homes, plan to put their winnings to good use, pay down some debt and perhaps buy “new to them” vehicles then invest the remainder.
For their part in selling the winning ticket, KJ’s Travel Center receives a bonus from the Idaho Lottery of $20,000. The same retail location also sold a $5,000 top prize on the Idaho Lottery’s Rapid Refund Scratch Game to Justin Manasco of Alpine, Wyoming earlier on Sunday morning.
BELL’S ARE AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT. PHOTOS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE.