Faithful player finally gets his windfall
By Kate Northrop
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — It was a momentous occasion for a Chicago area lottery player, who can finally say that his persistence paid off after he picked up his check for a $19.5 million Hoosier Lotto jackpot.
Yesterday, the Hoosier Lottery announced that a $19.5 million Hoosier Lotto jackpot was claimed by one of its very committed players.
It was also the 89th-consecutive Hoosier Lotto drawing without a winner since a $5 million jackpot was hit back on Oct. 30, 2021.
Manuel M. did not initially realize he even held a jackpot-winning ticket for two days. It's thanks to the employees at the convenience store who recognized him as a repeat customer that he found out about the win.
A couple days after purchasing his Hoosier Lotto ticket, the staff at Ridgeway #5 on 45th Street in Munster gave him a heads up that they had sold a jackpot-winning ticket and asked if he had checked his numbers. When he returned home to look at his ticket, it was only good news from there.
"When I realized I won, I just could not believe it," Manuel told the Lottery. "I broke out into a sweat. When it started sinking in, I started calling my sisters. We got together that night. There was screaming and crying. It probably took one half day to compose ourselves before we started talking it through."
The win had certainly left an impact on the player, who had loyally been playing the Lottery's different draw games for over two decades for about three to four times a week. According to the Lottery, the largest amount he had previously won was $5,000.
Manuel, who worked more than 30 years at a plant in chemical operations, remarked that the reality still has yet to fully sink in.
"I feel better today than I did a few years ago," he continued. "Still, I am so excited and in disbelief."
He showed up with his family at Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis yesterday to claim his prize, where Lottery Executive Director Sarah M. Taylor held up a huge ceremonial check in his place.
"It is so exciting when we can award these large jackpot amounts," Taylor said in a press release. "This player enjoys playing Hoosier Lottery games and has a prior win on a draw game. It's nice to know this winner has enjoyed playing our fun and entertaining games for many years."
The retiree's lucky numbers to win the $19.5 million jackpot for the drawing on Wed., Sept. 7 were 3, 5, 8, 18, 31, and 40. His winning ticket was purchased as a Quick Pick.
"Before you win the lottery, you are always thinking about what you would do if you won and who you would help," Manuel said. "At this point, I have not processed next steps. In time, I will give back and take some well deserved vacation time."