When most people return home from vacation, theyre greeted with stacks of mail, overdue bills and a lawn thats grown knee high.
When Rich Smith of Fond du Lac arrived home from vacation, he found out the lottery ticket he bought before leaving won him $45,000.
My friends dont believe me because Im such a BS-er, Smith, 35, said, adding that he had to go around to his friends houses Wednesday and show them proof that he had won.
Smith bought a weeks worth of Badger 5 Quick Pick numbers at Pump n Pantry, 329 W. Pioneer Road, on Monday, Aug. 25, before leaving for a week at a Lake Puckaway cottage with friends.
Surveying his computer-chosen numbers that night, Pump n Pantry clerk Garda Ebert said they looked lucky.
I said these look like good numbers, and as odd as it sounds, they look like theyd win, said Ebert, an employee at Pump n Pantry for just over a year.
She felt the numbers, 4-5-6 and 22-27 had a nice sound to them.
But I told him, youre spending all your money before you go on vacation, she said.
Smith said when he and his wife Tammy and their two children, Katrina and Richie, got back from vacation Monday night, they still had no idea of the winning ticket.
Luckily Tuesday night, they ran out of milk.
I went to Ma & Pa Central for a gallon and decided to check my numbers quick, Smith said.
Thats when the clerk told him he would need to make a trip to the Wisconsin Lottery Ticket Redemption Center in Madison.
I thought $10,000 at the most, but they told me $45,000, Smith said.
Needless to say, he left the store Tuesday night and forgot the milk.
They went Wednesday to retrieve their money $31,000 after taxes.
Im happy we got another winner, said Pump n Pantry owner Bob LeMense. This is the hot store, and weve just got to get the winners to prove it.
LeMense says hes had a few other winning tickets sold at his store in recent years: a $15,000 Power Ball winner in May, a winning Cash For Life sold at his Taycheedah store and a $50,000 Vegas Nights winner.
But no multimillion dollar winners like at Ma & Pas (on the Miracle Mile-South Main Street), he said, adding that he hopes Smiths ticket may be the start of a hot streak at Pump n Pantry.
Meanwhile, Smith says he and Tammy will use the money to pay off some of those bills that are stacked in the mail.