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Washington Army veteran of 29 years wins $5.4 million Lotto jackpot

Aug 20, 2021, 8:18 am

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Washington LotteryWashington Lottery: Washington Army veteran of 29 years wins $5.4 million Lotto jackpotRating:

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.

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7 comments. Last comment 29 days ago by Bleudog101.
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CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
Central TN
United States
Member #121187
January 4, 2012
5436 Posts

Great story... Congrats "Ken".....you deserve it... Patriot

Integrity: There is just no substitute.

    United States
    Member #163182
    January 22, 2015
    2685 Posts

    Nice win for a fellow comrade in arms.


    Am wondering if anyone realized the significance of the last paragraph....two plays for a DOLLAR....amazing!

      MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
      Beautiful Florida
      United States
      Member #5709
      July 18, 2004
      25487 Posts

      Great Story for a Veteran, like myself. Wish you well with your new found

      wealth "Ken". 


                                                    When violence is the primary language that is spoken; be fluent.

        sully16's avatar - sharan
        Dr.President Elect
        United States
        Member #81738
        October 28, 2009
        89573 Posts

        Awesome story, congrats Ken, enjoy. Party

         US Flag

          Cassie8620's avatar - oGH0ok
          United States
          Member #180563
          March 13, 2017
          4944 Posts

          my vet brothers will be happy for you, once they read this, i am going to show/tell them in CALIFORNIA!

          my uncle david, here in North Carolina, will smile seeing an Army Vet won this too, i am going to tell him."



          Love it!!!!!


          Middle age mean you're still having much time to enjoy, through even past 65(senior citizen age) just sit back relax.

          Please, don't spend it un-wisely, CONGRATS!Party

          Won(2020) $22,000. Let's Go NC! Time 2 break the bank, baby! 1034 1021 1019 1061 1117 

          0708 0806 2274 2446 4764 4774 4662 4667 6230 6231 6223 64427446 7447 7661

          2134 2431  1359 2360 2660 2670 2680 4213 5593 8486 7898 9290 9470 9780

            Gallatin Tennesee
            United States
            Member #194096
            November 29, 2018
            82 Posts

            This story illustrates clearly that there really is no "right" or "wrong" way to win a big jackpot". For years Ken had written in his own numbers, probably thinking that's the best way to play.The minute he plays quick pick he wins 5.4 million bucks. For years people use to tell me it's impossible to win the "big" jackpots if you allow the computer to pick your numbers. I long ago stopped listening to those people. I now believe mixing it up is the best way to go. You can play your favorite numbers and still grab a quick pick just to cover your bases. Great job by this gentleman of sticking with it. I wonder if the thousand dollars he won 15 years ago is what inspired him to keep going for so long.

            TypeHiding Behind Computer

              United States
              Member #163182
              January 22, 2015
              2685 Posts

              I know off subject, but just now lady asking clerk in store do you have lottery (as I'm playing the lotto machine)?   He said yes and I asked where are you from.....Alabama.   Said I heard you guys keep trying to get a lottery there!  She hesitated then I said Mega Millions is tonight and clerk ran her up a ticket.   It would be great if she won something!