Washington Man Claims $300,000 Little Lotto Prize
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Mike Lang 217-524-5158|
DEER CREEK, IL—Oct 26, 2011—Mike Mamer of Washington is an occasional Little Lotto player who purchases tickets once a week when the mood strikes. On Oct 16 the mood struck, with Mamer winning $300,000 on a $5 “quick pick” ticket purchased at the Casey’s store in this small, central Illinois town of 600 people. He almost didn’t buy a ticket that day, deciding last-second to make one of his occasional Little Lotto purchases.
Mamer, 38, coaches wrestling, and stopped at the Deer Creek Casey’s on Oct 16 to get a soft drink before driving to Monticello for a wrestling coaches meeting. He decided to purchase a $5 Little Lotto ticket which, as fate would have it, turned out to be the sole grand-prize winner in that evening’s Little Lotto drawing.
The next morning, Mamer went to his job at Mathis Kelly Construction. While at work, he checked the winning numbers in the Peoria Journal-Star and learned he was winner. “At first I thought I matched four of five numbers, and thought to myself, that’s a decent prize” he said. “Then I saw I matched all five numbers, and said ‘Holy Cow.’
After confirming the winning numbers on the Lottery’s website, Mamer called his wife, Lisa, to share the good news. Unfortunately, Lisa didn’t believe him, eventually hanging up on her insistent husband who has a history of practical jokes. “I called her back, and then she believed me,” said Mamer.
The Mamers have three children: two girls, ages 7 and 12; and a son, age 10. They plan to save much of their Lottery windfall to help pay for college for their three children. “For now, we’re going to save and invest the money for when we really need it,” Mamer said. “The children are going to have a good Christmas,” he added.
Mike and Lisa were presented an oversized check today at the Deer Creek Casey’s store, which will receive a $3,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. “Lottery jackpot winners usually have a good story to tell, and Mike and Lisa are no exception,” said IL Lottery Supt. Michael J. Jones. “We are thrilled they are putting their winnings to good use by saving much of their prize money to help pay for college for their children. That’s very commendable”
It’s a small world: With the win, Mike Mamer is the latest in a string of Peoria-area Lottery winners that began last St. Patrick’s Day, when Lori Skaggs of Peoria claimed a $1million Millionaire Raffle prize. Mamer and Skaggs have more in common than large Lottery prizes; the two grew up together in East Peoria, living about a block apart. They used to play together occasionally as young children, according to Skaggs, who noted that both she and Mamer are twins (Lori’s twin sister is named Lisa; Mike’s twin brother is named Matt).
Other recent Peoria area Lottery winners include:
Dona Lippert, $100,000 Little Lotto winner (Aug 11 draw) from Lacon; Mark Golowsky, $112,500 Little Lotto winner from Peoria (August 16 draw); Phillip Sanders, $100,000 Little Lotto (Aug 17 draw) from Peoria; Charles Rapp, $100,000 Little Lotto winner (Sept 14 draw) from Peoria; Wendy Rush, $2500/week/life winner from Eureka; Mike Ishmael, $2 million Platinum Payout winner from Green Valley; Wallace Gent, $1000/week/life winner from Pekin; Mathew Anvil, $50,000 Little Lotto winner (May 16 draw) from Dunlap; Donald Malson, $150,000 Little Lotto winner (May 29 draw) from Chillicothe; Nicholas Chiames, $150,000 Little Lotto winner (June 6 drawing) from Peoria; Alfred Burnett, $75,000 Little Lotto winner (June 1 draw) from Peoria; Renee Baker, $100,000 Double Triple Bingo winner from Chillicothe; Tracy Sondag, $100,000 Money Maker winner from Varna.
A $175,000 Little Lotto winning ticket was sold Oct 22 at Liquor Station, 201 N. Main Street in Morton; it has not yet been claimed. The Little Lotto game is offered every day. Jackpots start at $100,000 and have grown to over $1 million. About 220 people win Little Lotto jackpot prizes every year. Players win prizes by matching as few as two Little Lotto numbers. The winning numbers from the Oct 16, 2011 Little Lotto drawing are: 03-11-13-24-37.
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.