FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Claim $1,000,000 Raffle Prize
BOISE, Idaho – For
six months, a group of co-workers from the Walmart store
in Ontario, Oregon pooled their resources to save up money to play the Idaho
Lottery’s annual Idaho $1,000,000 Raffle.
The group of five friends who have worked together for
at least five years, started saving $10 a paycheck in late June 2011. Once the Idaho
$1,000,000 Raffle began, the group’s leader Aaron O’Neil began buying a
couple of tickets each day the Raffle was offered for sale. The persistence paid off on Tuesday, January
3, 2012 when the group claimed the Raffle’s top prize of $1,000,000 at Lottery headquarters
“We all work the night shift together, so I’d stop on my way
home every morning and buy a couple of tickets,” said O’Neil who lives in
Weiser and bought the winning ticket at the Maverik
Country Store in his hometown.
Monica Draper, from Payette, was on vacation the night of
the winning numbers announcement. She
watched the Idaho Lottery’s live announcement from the Idaho Steelheads – Las Vegas
Wranglers hockey game, wrote the numbers down, and then checked all their
“Aaron had made copies of all our tickets, so I opened them
up and turned right to the page that had the winner,” exclaimed Draper. “Thank
goodness for kitchen counters to hold me up!”
Word amongst the group spread quickly. Eddie Ynigez
(pronounced “N-ee-gez”) of
Nyssa, Oregon had gone into work early on the night of the draw and became the
last to know the group’s good fortune. “They called my name over the loud
speaker and told me to come to the manager’s office,” explained Ynigez. “I went in thinking I was going to be fired.
Instead, they just said congratulations!”
Draper and Pamela Linville of Ontario, Oregon both agreed
the weekend was really long while the group waited to claim their prize at
Lottery offices on Tuesday. Linville has
been holding down two jobs and now says with the winnings, she’ll be able to
leave the second one.
“It’s not enough to retire on, but it is enough to make
everyone more comfortable,” said Linville. “I’ve been working two jobs for 10
years and now I won’t have too.”
Draper plans to invest most of her winnings, pay off a few
bills, and buy herself a new car. She’s been driving the same car for the past
17 years. She also plans to put the rest
of her winnings toward her retirement plan.
O’Neil plans to pay off bills and do some remodeling to his
is also paying off bills and then making a donation to a local charitable
organization that helped his granddaughter.
The fifth member of the group was Aaron Anderson, of
Ontario, Oregon who plans to pay off bills with his winnings. No one in the group is planning to leave
their job at Walmart.
part in selling the ticket, Maverik receives a
$20,000 bonus from the Idaho Lottery. Chris
Jensen, an Area Supervisor for Maverik was on hand
during this morning´s announcement at Lottery Offices to hear the good news on
the winning ticket.
In addition to the $1,000,000 prize, there were four $25,000
winning tickets. All four of these prizes
have been claimed. The first was claimed
by Brenda Foulger of Huntsville, Utah who bought her
ticket at La Tienda in Franklin along the Idaho-Utah
border. The second was claimed by David Kennison of
Boise from a ticket purchased at KJ’s on Fairview. The third was claimed by L. Dawson
from Wild Willy´s in Emmett. The final $25,000 winning ticket was purchased at
Jacksons on Cole in Boise by Cynthia Christian.
# # #
ABOUT THE IDAHO
The Idaho Lottery responsibly
provides a variety of entertaining games featuring Powerball, Mega Millions, Scratch
GamesTM, and PullTabs
with a high degree of integrity to maximize the dividend for Idaho public
schools and the permanent building fund. Since their inception in 1989, the
Idaho Lottery has sold over $2.1 billion in products, awarded nearly $1.2
billion in prizes to players, returned more than $126 million in retail
commissions, and distributed $510.8 million in Lottery dividends to Idaho
public schools and the Permanent Building Fund. To learn more, please visit www.idaholottery.com.