|For Immediate Release||Contact: Mike Lang 217-524-5158|
HAMILTON, IL, Sept 6, 2012—Life is full of mysterious ironies; just ask Steve Schlicher of Hamilton. Last Tuesday Steve stayed home from work due to a sour stomach and other minor maladies. Thinking he was going to be home all day, Steve decided to pick up a newspaper and—on impulse—a single lottery instant ticket at a local convenience store. When he got home, he read part of the paper and played his impulse-buy Lottery ticket.
That ticket, a $10 Crossword game offering prizes that vary by the number of words revealed, initially appeared to Steve to be a $1,000 winner. Suddenly feeling a bit better, Steve returned to the store to validate his win. When he arrived at Pat’s Pit Stop, owner Charlie Church checked the ticket and said, “Oh my God, you formed nine words—it’s a $250,000 winner!” Moments later the two men were exchanging high-fives and celebratory howls.
Steve, 59, then went to see his wife, Jenny, who was at her job as a dental hygienist for Dr. Max Rodeffer. “I didn’t know what to think at first,” said Jenny. “Steve’s a bit of a jokester.” After Steve convinced Jenny it was legit, the most joyful scream ever to be heard from a dental office started emanating from Jenny’s work area.
The Schlichers drove to Springfield two days later to present the ticket to Lottery officials. In the interim, they passed along the good news to their two sons: Jedidiah, 18; and Macaulay, 19. Both boys proposed lavish uses for the prize money—including a new truck for the youngest members of the family. That’s not likely to occur. Steve and Jenny have other ideas for the prize, although they do plan to give each of their sons a small sum of “mad money” to spend as they please.
Concrete plans for the money include paying off a car note and home-improvement loan the Schlichers took out to update the flooring in their Hamilton home. Steve will likely use part of the money to purchase an early-80s vintage Chevrolet Corvette—something he has always wanted. “I wouldn’t buy a new Corvette,” he said. “That’s too much money.” A family vacation to an unusual location—perhaps the Bahamas—is also being considered down the road.
Most of the money, however, will going into savings, and will help supplement Steve’s planned retirement, in about two years, from his job at E.I. DuPont in Fort Madison, Iowa. When asked what advice he might give other Lottery players, Steve said, “you gotta have faith because anything’s possible.”
Steve is the third person to win $250,000 in the “$250,000 Crossword” game. There are four unclaimed $250,000 prizes, and 21 unclaimed $25,000 prizes, in the game as of August 31.
For selling the winning ticket, Pat’s Pit Stop will receive a bonus of $2,500. Lottery officials visited the store today to present a ceremonial check to Steve, who should expect the real payment in about three weeks. The actual check he will receive will be for $175,000, after state and federal withholding is applied to the $250,000 prize.
About Illinois Lottery
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed $17.5 billion to the state Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as the Capital Projects Fund. Players must be at least 18 years old.