By Kate Northrop
NILES, Il. — After playing the lottery for a decade, one lucky man attributed his double-win to consistency, a favorite retailer, and his daughters' birthdays.
The avid Illinois Lottery player knows what luck feels like firsthand — Rich Pascente's youngest daughter was born on Christmas Eve. He got to relive that luck 39 years later when that special day helped him win one of two lottery prizes.
Pascente, of Glenview, chose his Pick 4 numbers using both of his daughters' birthdays — 1, 2, 2, 4 and 2, 3, 7, 7 — and took home two prizes worth $2,700 for a total of $5,400.
"I got excited!" Pascente exclaimed. "I have been playing the Illinois Lottery for about ten years, and my favorite games to play are Pick 3, Pick 4, and Lucky Day Lotto."
His wife of 44 years was at home with him when he checked his numbers and found out about his win right away.
"My wife told me to make sure to save for the kids and our grandson," he recalled.
Pascente bought his prize-winning tickets at the EZ Pantry on West Oakton Street in Niles, the retailer he's had luck with in the past.
"My advice to other players is to be consistent and play the same numbers," the winner said.
Illinois players looking to try out the Pick 4 game can purchase tickets for two drawings a day, which take place daily at 12:40 pm and 9:22 pm CST. For $0.50 plays, the top prize is $2,500, while the top prize for $1 plays is $5,000.