Until last Saturday, 2004 had been the worst year of Randy Fletchers life.
On a cold mid-January day, the 29 year old Brownstown resident took a half-day off of work due to a severe case of diarrhea, only to find his wife of four years, Tara, in bed with a neighbor.
Two months later, he wrecked his mint-condition 1956 Chevy that he had spent three years carefully restoring when a deer ran out in front of him.
May brought even more heartache; Fletchers 12 year-old German Shepherd Molly was diagnosed with cancer and had to be put to sleep.
Fletcher, who works as a union electrician, felt that his life was cursed after losing his house and most of his life savings in the divorce proceedings that were finalized on July 15.
That is until July 17, when his life changed forever. Fletcher purchased five dollars worth of Hoosier Lottery computer picks for that nights drawing, like he had done every Wednesday and Saturday for the past several years.
When he checked his ticket numbers against those in the Sunday Indianapolis Star, he had to do a double takethe third row of numbers on his ticket matched those in the newspaper: 5-15-27-37-39-46!
Randy Fletcher had just won the $1 million jackpot.
I was in complete shock for several hours, said Fletcher, It took me several minutes to catch my breath. It was the most unbelievable and amazing feeling I have ever had, especially after all that had happened this year.
Fletcher says he plans to use the approximately $289,000 he will be taking home after accepting the cash option and paying federal, state, and local taxes to get back on his feet. I am going to buy a new house, probably get Harley, and a new puppy, probably another (German) Shepherd. Get a whole new fresh start on life. I also want to head to Cancun for a few days this winter.
The life of Randy Fletcher is a prime example of how every cloud has a silver lining. When asked what advice he has for anyone else whose life is in shambles, Fletcher advises, Just keep plugging away. Sooner or later things will look up. I am a prime example of that.