With the holidays around the corner, everyone is looking for a little extra cash.
One man from Hershey found it at a lottery dealer at the Schuylkill Mall on Oct. 3 and collected his winnings Thursday.
David A. Irwin was making his final delivery of the day for Hess Trucking to the Dollar General at the mall last month when he decided to grab a bite to eat.
I was headed for the Italian restaurant in the mall, and as I was walking by the lottery dealer, I remembered that I had some winning instant tickets to turn in, Irwin said. I think I made $4 on the old tickets, so I threw in another buck and bought a $5 Supercash scratchoff.
I didnt scratch the ticket right away, he said. I went back to the truck and did some paperwork. I called into the office and told them that I was done for the day, and then I called my wife at home and told her Id see her in about two and a half hours.
After those calls, Irwin said he suddenly remembered the lottery ticket, and scratched it off in the hurried manner of a man who has done this a time or two before.
I probably buy a ticket once every week or two, he said. When I scratched it off, I saw the matching 13s, and I just sort of stared at it, for like 20 minutes in disbelief.
Supercash works a lot like other scratchoffs match any of the 12 numbers on the game piece to any of the three Supercash numbers and win the prize shown below. In Irwins case, the prize was $100,000. The chances of winning the top prize are 1 in 1.2 million.
I suddenly remembered that they put the winning amounts in parentheses at the bottom of the ticket, so I kept scratching, Irwin said. But instead of numbers, there was a C in parentheses, and then some numbers. There was an L in parentheses, and some more numbers, and then there was an M. I just looked at it, and I was like, what does that mean?
Irwin said he had to walk back into the store and confirm the win with the lottery manager, Dorothy A. Meade.
I think she was more excited than I was, he said. I was in shock. I was just standing there, shaking. I could have just walked away with the winning ticket, but I needed someone else to confirm it.
Irwin said his wife Brenda didnt know what to make of the news at first.
She knows Im a practical jokester, he said. She didnt believe me until she heard the lottery manager on the phone with the lottery headquarters in Middleport. Then she got really excited.
The Irwins will use some of the money to invest in their daughters futures. Cheyenne, 2, and Carlie, 5, were on hand Thursday to accept the check with their father and celebrate with cake. The rest of the money is already being put to use.
I bought my wife a brand new 2004 Honda Pilot, a full-sized SUV, Irwin said. And I bought myself a new used truck. Im the kind of guy that only puts 3,000 miles on a vehicle in a year, so used is good for me.
The Irwins also bought a new stove and refrigerator, and are planning on buying new furniture for their Hershey home.
One of the most important things about winning this money is that my wife can continue to stay at home and raise our girls, Irwin said. Thats really important to us. Too often both parents have to work, but I was brought up with my mom raising me and my three siblings, and I'm glad my wife can continue to raise our young ones the same way.
This money really helps, he said. It kind of puts us ahead of the game. I have the big check to take home, but the real one is in my shirt pocket and close to my heart.
The most Ive ever won prior to this was $50, he said.
Thirteen days before he bought the winning ticket, Irwin completed 18 months of active duty with the Air National Guards 193rd Special Operations Wing, based out of Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown. He did classified work in Iraq as a crew chief on a C-130 aircraft.