Eureka Woman Wins ‘$2500/Week/Life’ Instant Game Prize

For Immediate Release Contact: Mike Lang 217-524-5158

EUREKA, IL--Sept 20, 2011--Wendy Rush did not “rush” to claim her multi-million dollar Lottery prize. The 67-year old Eureka resident purchased and won a $2,500 A Week For Life prize on August 1. A full six weeks expired before she calmly approached the Lottery’s Springfield Prize Center on Sept 12 knowing exactly how she intended to claim her prize (in a lump-sum), and what steps she was going to take to prudently invest it. 

“I don’t want to make a killing, but I don’t want to lose it,” Rush said with a lilting Louisiana accent. “Winning this kind of prize is a blessing, a blessing that carries some responsibilities.” Rush is working with an attorney to finalize her will. “I never had any money before, so I didn’t really need a will,” she said. 

One thing Rush does need is a new car to replace her 1995 Toyota Corolla. She intends to buy a new used car soon after her prize payment arrives. “New cars take a huge depreciation hit, and I don’t want to be the one to take it” said Rush, who was born on Sept 11, and originally hails from Louisiana. 

Rush has worked for 15 years at the Woodford County Probation Department. She intends to keep her job, which she enjoys. “I’m going to keep working,” she said with a smile, “unless or until my boss starts giving me a really hard time.” Rush gets along well with her boss and co-workers, one of whom confirmed the win on Aug 1 when Rush showed her the winning ticket on their lunch hour. Rush stored her winning ticket (after signing it) in a local bank safety deposit box the next day, where it remained for six weeks until she was ready to claim the prize. She met with a CPA and a financial planner prior to claiming the prize. 

“It’s always great to see multi-million dollar winners consult with investment professionals and CPAs before claiming their prize,” said Acting Lottery Supt. Victor Golden. “We offer Wendy our congratulations, and know she is going to make her money work hard for her for years to come.” 

Rush, the second Peoria-area Cash For Life winner since June, has several family members living in the area, including a niece who, with her husband, is raising four children. All four children, who range from 2 to 13 years of age, have some interesting suggestions for their great-aunt on how she should spend the prize money, according to the Lottery winner, who will buy each of the children “a little something, yet to be determined.” 

Many of her co-workers and family were waiting for Rush--champagne in hand--when she arrived home Sept 12 after submitting her winning ticket in Springfield. While parking her car, Rush noticed a tree festooned with Monopoly Money; a variety of fun finger foods added to the home-front festivities. 

Rush purchased her winning ticket at the Huck’s store at 205 W. Center St in Eureka, the site of a press event held today where Lottery officials presented oversized checks to Rush and store manager Candie Crismon. Huck’s will receive a bonus of $19,040, 1 percent of Rush’s lump-sum payment of $1,904,000. A regular Lottery player, Rush cashed in a winning $10 Little Lotto ticket and used the winnings to buy several different Lottery games, including the $2500 A Week For Life game (which cost $5). 

Earlier this summer, Wallace and Anneliese Gent of Pekin claimed a “$1,000 A Week For Life” prize, the first Peoria-area winner in the Lottery’s permanent Cash For Life ticket series. The series is comprised of three games, all of which are periodically replenished with new tickets and more grand prizes. The $1 game offers prizes of up to $500 a week for life; the $2 game features prizes up to $1,000 a week for life; and the $5 game’s top prize is $2,500 a week for life. As of today, 21 grand prizes are available in the popular game series, which consistently sells around $4.5 million worth of tickets per week. 



About Illinois Lottery

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $20 billion to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes like Illinois Veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for Mega Millions, Powerball and Lotto at Players must be at least 18 years old.