Parents’ B-day #s Pay-Off Big in Bloomington Man’s $3.25M Lotto Win

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

BLOOMINGTON, IL—Oct 12, 2011—Timothy Morris of Bloomington is a man of dedication and perseverance—strong Midwestern traits he inherited from his parents. Morris’ parents not only shaped his personality and work ethic, but, unknowingly—through their respective birthdays—helped their son win $3.25 million in the classic Illinois Lotto game. For over 25 years Morris played the numbers from his parents’ birthdays in Lotto, resulting in numerous small wins over the years. On Wednesday, Sept 21, Morris’ Lotto numbers won yet again—this time $3.25 million for matching all six numbers. 

The day after the drawing started like any other, with Morris reading the Bloomington Pantagraph at home with his wife of 21 years, Arlene. That quickly changed when Timothy, 51, saw the winning Lotto numbers in the Pantagraph and calmly told his wife they matched all six numbers. “I was pretty skeptical at first; in fact I was convinced it couldn’t be true,” said Arlene. The couple went online and confirmed the win on the Lottery’s website, and then departed for work at their respective jobs (after securing the winning ticket in their safety-deposit box at the bank).

It was hard concentrating at work that day for both Timothy, who works as the IT manager at the Bloomington Pantagraph, and Arlene, 46, who works at State Farm Insurance designing and updating many of the company’s 18,000 forms. Instead of concentrating on work, the couple (married 21 years) kept thinking of ways to best use the money for their family, which includes four children (Sami, Jake and Jackie, all attending college; and 16-year-old son, Bart). 

Ultimately, Timothy and Arlene made the following choices: pay off their home, pay off outstanding college loans, give something to their parents, and save for the future. The future will include a late-model-year minivan (probably a Dodge) and, if their youngest son has his way, a new paint job and rims for the 2006 Chevy Impala that he will likely gain access to, thanks to the win. 

“The Morris’ win is a quintessential, feel-good lottery story,” said Illinois Lottery Supt Michael J. Jones. “A hard working, middle-class family whose multi-million-dollar win allows them to become debt-free and save for the future—that’s that kind of story Hollywood might write, but it’s a true story from right here in the heartland. We offer our sincere congratulations to Tim, Arlene and the whole Morris family.” 

 Tim’s parents, Lois and Don, are both 78, and live active lives. “Dad would rather be golfing than attending a Lottery check presentation, although he’s happy for us” said Tim jokingly. Arlene’s mom, Marlene, 73, is excited about the win too, and is happy her daughter and son-in-law are putting the money to good use. 

The Morris’ were presented an oversized Lottery check today at the Bloomington store where the winning ticket was purchased: Commerce Shell, 1801 S. Veterans Parkway, which will receive a $32,500 bonus for selling the ticket. The Morris’ elected to receive a 1-time payment of $2,375,730.50 (rather than $3.25 million paid in 26 installments). 

The Lotto game offers two sets of numbers for $1. Timothy says he will continue to play Lotto because he still has a second set of numbers that he routinely plays that haven’t won yet. The second set of numbers that haven’t yet won big have a family theme: they correspond to the birthdays of the Morris’ four children (two of whom are twins). Twin children, twin Lotto wins? Stranger things have happened! 

The winning numbers from the Sept 21, 2011 Lotto drawing are: 02-10-12-25-32-33. Lois Morris’ birthday is Feb 10, 1933; Don Morris’ birthday is Dec 25, 1932.


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.