PHILO, Ill. (WCIA) — A lottery player in Philo recently hit it big when he bought a $1 million scratch-off ticket from a local gas station.
The Illinois Lottery said the winning ticket was bought at the Phillips 66 located at Lincoln and Washington Streets. The winner, who wanted to stay anonymous, told the Illinois Lottery that it’s the craziest thing to ever happen to him.
“I still can’t stop shaking,” the winner said. “My wife was just saying ‘You’ve got to stop buying those things.’ So you can imagine how ecstatic I was to be able to tell her I won!”
The winner, who has worked in the construction industry for nearly 30 years, said he bought a cup of coffee and a $20 scratch-off ticket at the gas station, part of his daily routine, before heading to work. He was on his way there when he realized the ticket he bought was a $1 million winner.
“I pulled a U-turn in the middle of the road to go back home and tell my wife,” he said. “When I showed my wife the winning ticket, she did a triple-take. She then asked me if she was dreaming, and I told her, ‘I hope not.’”
Philo is a small town of just 1,300 people and most of the customers who use the Phillips 66 are from the town, manager Umesh Patel said.
“I can guarantee that if the winner walked into our store, we’d recognize him,” Patel said. “We are so excited that the winner is from our little city.”
For selling the winning ticket, Patel’s gas station is going to get a bonus of $10,000, or one percent of the scratch-off’s prize money. It’s not even the first time the station sold a winning ticket – a $100,00 winner was sold there in 2021.
“Just like the last time when we had a big win, we plan to share some of the bonus with our two devoted employees,” Patel said.
As for the anonymous winner, he plans to use the money to send his children to college.
“This money is a joy and a relief,” he said. “It makes the future feel so much easier.”