ILLINOIS (WGN) — An Illinois man who spent $20 on a scratch-off lottery ticket saw a massive return on investment after winning a $2 million top prize, according to the Illinois Lottery.
The 66-year-old man, who has asked to remain anonymous, picked up the life-changing ticket at a Pilot Travel Center along Illinois Route 47 in Morris.
“My wife and I stopped for gas and I picked up a scratch-off ticket. She said, ‘Don’t scratch it in front of me, I’m bad luck.’ So once we got back home, I scratched the ticket alone, and I couldn’t believe it, the ticket was a $2 million winner! I was laughing and crying at the same time. We are just ecstatic,” the lotto player said.
Over 50 different Instant Ticket games are offered by The Illinois Lottery across the state, but the player’s lucky twist of fate was due in part to his granddaughter.
“I picked the pink ticket because it’s my granddaughter’s favorite color,” the big winner said.
After striking it big, the lucky lotto player retired from his job after 40 years of working and says he now plans to chase his dreams of traveling the country.
“When I told my boss the news of my retirement, he wasn’t happy,” the lucky player said. “He asked me ‘What’s it going to take to get you to stay?’ I chuckled and said, ‘$2 million!’”
The odds of winning the impressive jackpot were 1 in 1,876,920 and only three players total will snag one of the top prizes. The Illinois Lottery says the winner can choose to have the prize paid out as a one-time cash payment of $1,200,000 or take an annual payment of $100,000 for 20 years.
According to the Illinois Lottery, the $2 million winner is one of 19 players to become Instant Ticket millionaires in 2023.