007-Fan James Bond Jr. Wins $6.5 Million Illinois Lotto Prize
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Mike Lang 217-524-5158|
SPRINGFIELD, IL --August 24, 2011--Like the fictional secret agent with whom he shares his name, James Bond Jr. of Vincennes is a lucky and well-off man. Bond Jr., 46, was the sole winner of $6.5 million from the August 13 Illinois Lotto drawing. He bought his ticket at Bottoms Up Beer and Liquor in Lawrenceville IL, across the border from his Indiana hometown.
While the fictional Bond prefers shaken vodka martinis and Aston Martin sports cars, Lottery winner Bond drives an old Chevy pickup and prefers cold beer as his wind-down-the-day beverage. “I’ve taken a lot of ribbing over the years because of my name,” said Bond, who has never once played 0-0-7 in the Lottery’s Pick 3 game. “I loved all the James Bond movies, especially those with Sean Connery, but that’s as far as it goes.”
Bond’s father, James Bond Sr., 64, and mother, Lorna Kay Bond, 63, accompanied their son to the Lottery’s Springfield IL headquarters today, where Bond Jr. was presented an oversized Lottery check for $6.5 million from a Lottery representative.
One of Bond’s two sons, Eric, 29, and one of his three brothers, Ryan, 17, were available to travel with Bond to claim his prize. Bond’s fiancé of nearly three years, Kimberly Williams, also made the trip. Bond’s son Brandon, 22, was unable to attend, as he is returning to duty in Afghanistan today, where he serves as a Private First Class in the US Army. “I’m so proud of Brandon and how he’s serving his country. I wish he could be here to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Bond said. Bond’s brothers Shane, 39, and Chad, 37, were unable to attend the check presentation due to previous obligations.
“We’re thrilled to announce that James Bond is a loyal Illinois Lottery player who regularly plays Lotto, Little Lotto, Mega Millions and Powerball,” said Illinois Lottery Acting Superintendent Victor Golden. “We share his excitement and joy, and wish him and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”
Bond met with a CPA before claiming his prize, and developed a plan for making the money last and work for him and his family. Bond operates a seasonal, five-employee construction business, and may invest some of the winnings in his business. He plans to buy a new extended-cab pickup truck with all-wheel drive, which will be useful in the winter. His primary work vehicle today is a 1980 Chevy pickup.
At some point, Bond indicated he will use part of his winnings to help various family members, including his mother, who--thanks to Bond’s win--will be able to retire from her job of 28 years at Wal-Mart in Vincennes.
Bond is a big sports fan, who played high school basketball, football and baseball. As an adult he routinely played softball and basketball, until a severe back injury 18 years ago limited his playing ability. Today, he watches a lot of sports on TV, and considers himself a huge Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals fan. At some point, Bond said he will host a celebration party for friends and family, something special like a private-box gathering at a Colts home football game.
“I’m still in a bit of shock,” said Bond, who got only two or three hours of sleep for the first several nights after the win. “I’m sure I’ll sleep a lot easier from here on out,” he said. Bottoms Up Beer and Liquor owner Mark Carrithers saw Bond’s face turn white as a sheet when he confirmed Bond’s winning ticket last week in his store. “This is really big news for our area--everyone is talking about it,” said Carrithers, who attended Bond’s news conference in Springfield today. “Our area has been somewhat depressed economically, and it’s great to have news like this.”
Bond believes divine intervention may have played a role in his winning the Lottery. Bond’s grandmother, Betty Gaither, passed away early this year at the age of 83. She nursed Bond back to health 18 years ago when he fell 23 feet to the ground while working on the “Lucky Point Bridge” near Vincennes. “I have a strong feeling she had something to do with my win,” said Bond with a smile.
The winning numbers in the August 13 Lotto drawing were: 13-19-27-33-39-43. Bond picked his own numbers, several of which have significance to him: 13 has always been his lucky number, and 27 and 33 were numbers he wore when he played high school and post-high school sports. Bond elected to receive his prize as a one-time payment of $4,529,616, less taxes.
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 www.illinoislottery.com. Players must be at least 18 years old.