A Wisconsin couple on Thursday claimed the record $10.8 million Hot Lotto jackpot.
Mary and Bob Mikkelson of Holmen, Wis., said they aren't sure what they'll do with their winnings from the Sept. 15 drawing. They chose to accept the cash option of $6.4 million.
On the day of the drawing, the Mikkelsons crossed the border and bought lottery tickets at Saver Stop on Twilite Street in LaCrescent, Minn. Bob Mikkelson was an avid lottery player, but before entering the store, Mary Mikkelson decided to get in the game.
"She gave me $4 and said 'Buy two Powerball and two Hot Lotto,"' Bob Mikkelson said.
That evening the couple checked their tickets. Bob Mikkelson's tickets were nonwinners. But his wife's showed something different.
"I said, 'Hey, you've got the first five numbers right,' So I had to check the Hot Ball. I thought, 'This can't be.' So, I went to the computer to see if it was right," he said.
The winning numbers were 2-3-15-26-36 and the Hot Ball of 18.
This is the fourth Hot Lotto jackpot won in Minnesota, the Minnesota State Lottery said.
Hot Lotto offers better odds than Powerball, but lower jackpots. The prize starts out at $1 million, then grows by a minimum of $50,000 per drawing until someone wins the jackpot.
The record jackpot won by the Mikkelsons had been growing since Dec. 24, 2003.
In addition to Minnesota, Hot Lotto tickets are sold in Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, the District of Columbia and West Virginia.