Three Springfield Neighbors Share $1mil St. Pat’s Raffle Prize

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

SPRINGFIELD--March 25, 2011---Paying off a home mortgage, a new mini-van or SUV, and an appliance makeover are in the works for three Springfield couples that together played the Illinois Lottery's St. Patrick's Day Raffle, and are sharing one of four $1million prizes from the March 17, 2011 drawing. Three of the four $1 million winners from the St. Pat’s drawing are from central Illinois--a first in the history of the Raffle game--including a winner who bought his/her ticket in Williamsville, and is expected to claim the prize next week. The third $1million Central Illinois winner bought his/her ticket in Peoria.

The three married couples live on Springfield’s southeast side, and are friends and neighbors who regularly socialize together. They bought five St. Pat’s Raffle tickets together--as the BPM Partners--and are each receiving $333,333.33, less state and federal taxes. 

Brian and Briana Vanderweele (ages 29 and 28) are going to payoff their home mortgage decades ahead of schedule, thanks to the Lottery win. Brian, who bought the five tickets on behalf of the group, invited his parents from Michigan to attend the public announcement of the group’s win held today at the Willard Ice Building in Springfield. 

Peter and Carolyn Harris (ages 41 and 36) will use much of their windfall to promote Peter’s computer repair and virus protection business, “Clean Sweep Computer.” “This is going to help tremendously in expanding my business,” said Peter. Carolyn is looking forward to buying a new mini-van or SUV to replace the 12 year old Toyota mini-van she currently drives. 

Michael and Michelle Covey (ages 43 and 42) are going to use some of their Lottery winnings to pay down their mortgage and payoff some outstanding bills. Plus, a new dishwasher and other appliances are on Michelle’s wish-list. 

The night of the Raffle drawing was a time of excitement and disbelief for the six friends, who have been known to play practical jokes on each other. Shortly after 10 p.m, Peter checked the winning raffle numbers on the Lottery’s website ( 

There, he saw that one of their tickets, #0401291, was a $1million winner. After rechecking the numbers half a dozen times, Peter woke his sleeping wife, Carolyn, with an enthusiastic bellow, “We won! We won!” 

Peter then telephoned Mike, who didn’t believe the good news until he checked the Lottery website himself. Mike then telephoned Brian, who said, “No way, No way! If it’s true, come over to our house.” When Mike arrived at Brian and Briana’s home, he was met with a healthy dose of skepticism. Briana said it started to sink in when she noticed that Mike was shaking and having difficulty breathing. “He couldn’t fake that, “ she said. Still, it wasn’t until 10 minutes later, after Brian and Briana nervously checked the Lottery website, that they realized they were going to share a $1million prize with their friends and neighbors. None of the six friends slept well that night, but all agree that a poor night’s sleep is a small price to pay for winning such a great Lottery prize. 

“Making dreams come true, while supporting worthy causes is what the Lottery is all about,” said acting Lottery Supt. Jodie Winnett. “Raffle is a great example of this. Each time we hold a Raffle drawing, we make dreams come true, while raising substantial funds for K-12 education. We offer our sincere congratulations to the BPM Partners of Springfield, and our other Raffle winners.” 

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 Springfield retailer that sold the $1milllion ticket, Super Mart, 901 E. Cook, will receive a $10,000 bonus from the Lottery. According to Super Mart personnel, Lottery purchases at the store have increased markedly since the $1million Raffle win.


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.