Last minute deviation from routine rewards in full
By Kate Northrop
SPOKANE, Wash. — A quick and simple deviation from an everyday routine earned a Washington Army veteran a $5.4 million Lotto prize.
Having served in the Army for 29 years, 59-year-old Kenneth C. of Spokane was used to a daily routine since transitioning to a civilian life. On most days after work, he would stop at a store, buy what he needed, and pick up a few lottery tickets while he's at it.
He always has a play slip handy, ready to go and filled out with his own numbers for the Washington Lottery's Hit 5 and Lotto draw games. However, his usual regimen changed on Aug. 11 when he couldn't find his play slip.
The veteran, who also goes by the nickname Ken, did not want to hold up the line of customers, so he said to the clerk, "Give me a Quick Pick on Hit 5.... Oh, and give me $5 on Lotto, too... Quick Pick." After that, he did not give the little interaction much thought.
When he heard that someone in Spokane won the $5.4 million jackpot that same night, it suddenly became all he could think about.
"Sometimes when I've played before, I've thought I've won something, but when I double checked my numbers, they were for the drawing the day before or something like that," Ken told the Lottery. "I've won $150 before and once won $1,000 maybe 15 years ago, but I never thought I'd win a jackpot. I thought this just has to be wrong."
Ken checked the drawing results from every source imaginable and verified that the numbers on his ticket matched the ones drawn on Aug. 11, but he still was not convinced. Even after scheduling an appointment with the Lottery to claim the prize, he set his expectations low so he wouldn't set himself up for disappointment. The night before he was set to visit the Lottery's Department of Imagination store in NorthTown Mall, he drove to a gas station near his home and scanned his ticket a third time.
"I definitely held my breath when I scanned the ticket," Ken recalled. "But after seeing what it said on the screen, I took a few deep breaths, put the ticket back in my pocket and walked out to my car as calmly as possible."
It was clearly a lot to take in, so for now, Ken said that he wants to have a nice dinner with his brothers and think about future plans. Other than that, he'll use the millions to do some quick home repairs.
Ken's ticket matched all six numbers in the Lotto drawing on Wed., Aug. 11 to win the $5.4 million jackpot. The winning numbers were 5, 30, 40, 44, 46, and 47.
The Washington Lottery holds Lotto drawings on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at 8:00 pm GMT. Tickets cost $1 each for two plays, where players choose six numbers from 1 to 49. The starting jackpot is $1 million and rolls until someone wins.