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Birthday Present Brings $250,000 To Park Forest Lottery Player

December 9, 2020

CHICAGO—When it came time to pick out the perfect birthday present for her mom, Barbara Farias’ daughter decided to scoop up an Illinois Lottery instant ticket to sweeten her celebration.  What happened next is what birthday wishes are made of.

The Park Forest player said she was at home celebrating her special day when she found out that she won. “My daughter came over and brought me flowers and a few Illinois Lottery instant tickets,” says Farias.

“We were sitting around and I began to scratch and before I knew I had two, three then four, five, six of the keywords - it got to a point where I got so excited that I couldn't even scratch anymore,” laughed Farias.

The player then handed her ticket over to her daughter and asked her to check it. She began to count the keywords and quickly realized that her Mom had in fact matched all nine words and was the winner of the $250,000 top prize.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Farias, “We just hugged each other and started crying.”

After sharing the winning moment with her daughter, next on the list to hear the good news was the winner’s husband, who she says was also in disbelief, “When I told him he just couldn’t believe it either!”  

Farias shares that after scratching her winning ticket, she enjoyed a celebratory birthday drink - a vodka martini with blue cheese stuffed olives- with her family and talked about how she is going to use her winnings to help pay expenses, which has left her with an unbelievable feeling.

“I paid off a few things for my family, and the feeling is unbelievable,” exclaims Farias. “It is the best feeling in the world, you just can’t explain it!”   

This Illinois Lottery lover has been playing for over the past 10 years and continues to both play and win prizes, which is no surprise given that these draw games have brought home a handful of wins for the player.

Farias has cashed in on a number of notable prizes in the past, including $1,000 and $2,000 wins and more. “I have won $30,000 playing Pick 4,” she exclaims, before sharing that even this week she brought home another prize after playing an Illinois Lottery instant, “I won $500 from the Illinois Lottery Holiday Cash Bonus instant ticket just yesterday,” she exclaimed.

With the holidays right around the corner, there’s no better time to give others the gift of possibility with a holiday instant ticket.  When picking out presents, think about gifting from your local retailer and consider adding an Illinois Lottery ticket to make the perfect gift for those Lottery lovers in your life who are 18 years and older.

The winning ticket was purchased at a local Jewel Food Store located at 4729 N. Central Avenue in Chicago. 

The winner’s advice to fellow Lottery Players is to take time to pick up a ticket and be a part of the action, “You can’t win if you don’t play.”


About the Illinois Lottery:

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $21 billion (since 1985) 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 homelessness prevention, Illinois Veterans services, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, Special Olympics, police memorials and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for all draw-based Illinois Lottery games at Players must be at least 18 years old.