Peoria X-ray Tech Wins $1M Lottery Raffle Prize!
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Mike Lang 217-524-5158|
SPRINGFIELD--March 30, 2011---Investing for the future and buying a new car are on the to-do list of a 37-year-old Peoria x-ray technician who won a $1million prize from the Lottery’s recent St. Patrick’s Day Raffle, which on March 17 produced three $1million winners from Central Illinois.
Peorian Lori Skaggs is looking at her $1 million Lottery windfall primarily as a retirement fund. “Everyone is telling me to invest for the future,” said Skaggs. “I intend to do that.” She also plans to continue her career as an x-ray technician at a Peoria hospital.
Skaggs told her family about the win in a roundabout way. On March 21 Skaggs told her parents, John and Judy, who, upon hearing the news, literally jumped for joy with their youngest daughter. After everyone calmed down a bit, mom suggested a family gathering at the parents East Peoria home to tell the rest of the Peoria-area family (Skaggs has four sisters, three nieces, one nephew, and a great-niece and great-nephew.) When the whole family got together, Skaggs said, “Did you see that article in the Journal-Star about the $1million Raffle winner sold in Peoria? That article is about me.” That statement elicited cries of joy--and disbelief--from assembled family members.
When she first learned she won $1million, Skaggs had a celebratory dinner at one of her favorite restaurants, Longhorn Steakhouse in Peoria. “It hasn’t fully sunk in yet; it still feels a bit surreal,” Skaggs said while visiting Lottery officials in Springfield on Tuesday, March 29. She left the Lottery’s Springfield office Tuesday carrying a huge, ceremonial Lottery check that stands taller than her diminutive, 5’3” frame.
As far as plans for the one-time prize ($1 million, less state and federal taxes), Skaggs is being somewhat circumspect. She’s going to buy a new vehicle to replace an aging Chevrolet that has had engine problems in recent months, and may take a “special vacation” next spring to Florida to watch her favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals, play spring-training baseball. Beyond that, for now, she plans to save for retirement--and keep playing the Lottery on occasion.
“We had three Central Illinois Raffle winners in the last St. Pat’s drawing, and all three winners are thinking long and hard before investing their winnings in an appropriate way,” said acting Lottery Supt. Jodie Winnett. “This is what we encourage all big winners to do; take your time--and make the most of it.”
Three of the four $1 million winners from the recent St. Pat’s drawing are from central Illinois--a first in the history of the Raffle game. The three winning tickets were sold in Peoria, Springfield and Williamsville (just north of Springfield). In addition to Skaggs, the other two central Illinois winners include 1) three married couples who live on Springfield’s southeast side and 2) three co-workers from the Illinois Department of Human Services, one of whom lives in Williamsville.
There have been nine raffle drawings to date in Illinois. For each Raffle drawing, 500,000 tickets are offered for sale. Four winning tickets of $1million are randomly selected per drawing, as are five $100,000 winners and five-hundred $1,000 winners. The Millionaire Raffle game usually sells out days early, and offers the best odds of winning $1million of all Lottery games.
The Peoria store that sold the $1milllion ticket, Circle K, 7815 N University, will receive a $10,000 bonus from the Lottery. The store is one of the higher selling Lottery retailers in the area.
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $18 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.