By Todd Northrop
MERLIN, Ore. — Laid off since May, Riley Gunn was driving his wife and kids home to their cabin in the woods in southern Oregon after registering for computer programming classes, when he pulled off the freeway to buy corn dogs for the kids.
Knowing his wife would not approve because money was so tight, but feeling he was sure to win, Gunn said Tuesday he bought an $8 lottery ticket, letting the machine pick the numbers.
When he checked online, he found he had won $1 million.
Riley won second prize in the Mega Millions game, but because he had also purchased the Megaplier option for an extra $1 per play, his prize was increased from $250,000 to $1 million.
When Riley checked his winning ticket, he couldn't believe his eyes. "I saw that I had matched all five numbers, but not the Mega Ball," he said.
He woke up his wife, Misti, with the news that they were $250,000 winners. When Riley remembered that he had chosen the Megaplier option, and the Megaplier multiplier "4" was drawn, he realized he was a $1 million winner.
"I just couldn't believe it. Misti and I were both shocked, and really excited."
Gunn said after collecting his $670,000 in winnings, after taxes, he gave a tenth to his church, bought a pair of new Jeeps, and put in a bid on a house. He plans to use the rest to start his own software business.
Riley purchased the winning Mega Millions ticket at Lil' Pantry Market & Deli in Merlin, Oregon, for the January 4 drawing.
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Thanks to truesee for the tip.