ÔÇïBOISE, Idaho ÔÇô There must be something to the Magic in the Magic Valley these days ÔÇô at least as it relates to playing the Idaho Lottery. In addition to claiming three top prizes in the past 15 days, Magic Valley residents have made a clean sweep of all the chips in the pot by claiming both of the two top $100,000 prizes from the Idaho Lottery's game "World Poker Tour". In May, Mary Murray won the game's first $100,000 prize on an instant ticket she purchased at the Winco Food Store on Blue Lakes Boulevard in Twin Falls. Now, a few weeks later, Gloria Orth of Wendell did not have to go "all in" but was selected as the "World Poker Tour" second-chance draw winner of the second $100,000 top prize.
Second chances are a lucky way of life these days for Orth, winning three times on second-chance draws since last October. On October 2, 2008, Orth became the first Idaho Lottery "World Poker Tour" second-chance draw winner when she won a set of poker chips. On March 20, 2009, she was the first second-chance winner of $2,000 from the Idaho Lottery on their "20th Anniversary Have a 200,000 Grand Time" game. In late May, she won again when one of her second-chance entries for "World Poker Tour" was chosen by the Idaho Lottery's Certified and Licensed Random Number Generator out of 18,444 total entries.
"When the Lottery called me the second time, I thought maybe I had won another $2,000 on the 20th Anniversary game," said an enthusiastic Orth. "I really didn't believe them when they told me I'd won $100,000 on World Poker Tour!"
A long-time resident of the Magic Valley and regular player of the Lottery, Orth received a big oversized check during a ceremony with the Idaho Lottery on Friday, June 12, 2009 at the Oasis Stop-n-Go #5 in Jerome. The Oasis store, located at 2816 Lincoln Avenue near freeway exit 168, sold a $50,000 winning Colossal Cashword ticket to a Jerome resident late last week. For their part in selling the Colossal Cashword ticket, Oasis will receive a $6,000 bonus from the Idaho Lottery.
"The Magic Valley has had the highest concentration of big winners since January," announced David Workman, Idaho Lottery spokesman. "Starting with the Owen family in Buhl who won $1,000,000 on Raffle at the first of the year, with today's announcement, ten players from the greater Magic Valley area have claimed $1,560,000 in top game prizes from the Idaho Lottery."
Late yesterday afternoon, George Thompson of Heyburn claimed the top prize of $25,000 on Genie Riches. The long-time resident, and owner of Thompson's Concrete Construction, plays regularly with a group of friends at the United Oil on Overland in Burley. The group stopped playing the game after scratching about thirty tickets but Thompson continued, saying he was only going to play seven more. Good thing, too, since ticket number 6 was the jackpot winner.
"Those other fellas jaws dropped when they saw my ticket," said Thompson who quickly signed the back of his ticket after he realized it was the big winner. "I'm just excited I won. Wednesday was a big day for me!"
As for the winnings, Orth plans to pay off her car, take care of a few bills and invest the rest of her new found windfall. Thompson plans to spend some of his money on a fishing trip and then invest the rest for a rainy day.