Illinois Lottery

Illinois man immediately retires after $2M scratch-off lottery win

The ticket was sold at a gas station in Morris, Illinois, located approximately 65 miles southwest of Chicago

Feeling lucky? One man recently won a whopping $2 million after purchasing a $20 Illinois Lottery scratch-off ticket.

According to a press release from the Illinois Lottery, an Illinois man recently won the top prize -- $2 million -- after playing a 100X Payout Instant Ticket game.

The man 66, and his wife, purchased the ticket while stopping for gas at a Pilot Travel Center in the Chicago suburb of Morris, the release said.

“My wife and I stopped for gas and I picked up a scratch-off ticket,” the man, who wished to remain anonymous, said in the release. “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."

After hitting the jackpot, the newly-minted millionaire has big plans -- in the form of retirement, the release said.

“When I told my boss the news of my retirement, he wasn’t happy,” the winner said in the release. “He asked me – ‘What’s it going to take to get you to stay?’ I chuckled and said, ‘$2 million dollars!’”

According to the winner, it was the scratch-off ticket's pink hue that made him want to play the game.

“I picked the pink ticket because it’s my granddaughter’s favorite color,” the man said. “Every year I take my family to the Chicago RV & Camping Show. After winning today, she asked me, ‘Grandpa, when do I get to go for a ride in your new RV?’ So, I guess I’m buying an RV now’” he laughed.

The lucky winner joins 19 other Illinois Lottery players who this year have become millionaires after winning from a Instant scratch-off ticket, lottery officials said.

Earlier this month, a Wood Dale woman won $400,000 from an Instant Lottery ticket purchased at a grocery store.

According to the Illinois Lottery, more than 48 million winning instant tickets have been sold in Illinois in 2023.

Earlier this year, an NBC 5 Investigates report revealed that the Illinois Lottery continued to sell and promote many Instant Games even after the top prizes had been claimed. A spokesperson for the lottery told NBC Chicago that although retailers are notified once a ticket no longer has a top prize, the process can be time consuming.

"As the process involves physically removing hundreds of thousands to millions of tickets from our stores for a particular game, that process can take up to 1 to 3 months to complete," the spokesperson said. "We will continue to look for ways to make this process even better for our players and retailers.”

According to lottery officials, there are more than 50 different Illinois Lottery Instant Ticket games at over 7,000 retail locations across Illinois.

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