Suburban woman says special $1M lottery win shares wild 50th anniversary connection

The winner believes there was a reason the special lottery scratch-off ended up in her hands

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A suburban Chicago woman won $1 million on a lottery scratch-off she recently purchased at an Illinois Walmart -- only this lottery ticket was extra special and she believes there was more behind how it ended up in her hands.

The ticket was sold in celebration of the Illinois Lottery's 50th anniversary and was part of a lineup of celebratory tickets being sold to mark the occasion.

Newly minted millionaire Pamela Arscott, of Franklin Park, said the flashy new tickets "caught her eye" while she was shopping.

“I was at Walmart the other night when I saw the new Celebration Instant Tickets and they caught my eye, so I bought a $10 one,” she said, according to a release from the Illinois Lottery. “I didn’t think anything of it. I actually put it in my purse and forgot about it until the next morning.”

That day, when she finally began scratching her ticket, she realized she had won -- and won big.

"I started scratching the ticket and saw I had a matching number for a million dollars. I thought it was a mistake. I immediately woke up my daughter. I told her to run out to the store to scan it to double check and make sure it’s real," Arscott said. "She got to the store, scanned the ticket, called me and said, ‘It’s real. You’re getting a million dollars, Mom.’”

Arscott, a mom of five with 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, recently lost her husband of 49 years in October 2023. This year would have marked their 50th anniversary, too.

She believes that was no coincidence.

“He was the breadwinner and took care of all of us. I truly believe this winning ticket is a blessing from him," she said through tears.

The winning ticket was sold at the Walmart lcoated at 1050 N. Rohlwing Rd. in Addison. The location will receive 1% of the prize for selling it.

The 50th anniversary celebration from the Illinois Lottery remains ongoing this July. Among the instant tickets released in May were:

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