Many think playing the lottery is a bad bet, and while statistically speaking that may be true, one Kentucky man just struck it rich on a $20 dollar scratcher.
Michael Schlemmer, of Corbin, Kentucky was running low on gas and stopped in at the Convenient Food Mart on US Hwy 25 West in Corbin, Kentucky. Once inside he bought $20 dollars of gas and a $20 dollar scratcher. The rest changed his life.
The lucky winner told the Kentucky Lottery, via Fox Business: “I ran out of gas, and I coasted in there. I had $40 bucks on me and bought $20 worth of gas and bought a ticket.”
While this isn’t unusual behavior in small-town America, what happened next was. Schlemmer went back to his truck, and as he was pumping his gas he scratched the ticket and saw the winning million dollar symbol. The stunned man walked back into the store where both owners were working and showed the clerks the winning ticket.
Michael from Corbin won the top prize on a $20 Scratch-off ticket! He said that his car ran out of gas and he had to "coast" into the gas station where the winning ticket was purchased! Join us in congratulating Michael on this WINNER WEDNESDAY! 🥳 https://t.co/qvBagpDLU5 pic.twitter.com/mBBcSIZQSY
— Kentucky Lottery (@kylottery) May 24, 2023
Schlemmer continued: “The owners of the store were there, and they both started grinning.”
He went on to tell the Lottery: “Until I get the check in my hand, I don’t believe it,”
The freshly minted almost-millionaire collected his winnings on May 18. Schlemmer arrived at the Kentucky Lottery headquarters and picked up his check for $616,330, following taxes. The lucky Corbin resident chose to take the game’s lump sum cash payment of $862,000. Despite the fact that the tax man and government had to have their share, it was still a very nice payday for a man that just needed some gas. And a new truck.
As fate would have it, Schlemmer had been in the market for a new vehicle, but had been waiting for a check before he could go to the dealership. This wasn’t the check he was expecting, but it will do nicely.
“I told the dealership I’m waiting for a big check to come in and then I hit that,” Schelmmer stated.
Schlemmer isn’t the only one getting a payday, however. The Convenient Food Mart in which the ticket was purchased, will receive $8,620 for selling the winning ticket, the lottery agency stated.
Small businesses in Kentucky rely on revenue and portions of winnings from things like the lottery and the so-called “grey games” that are in so many small town businesses. Without these proceeds many mom and pop, country businesses wouldn’t exist.
While many eschew and even criticize state lotteries for being predatory and bilking poor people from their money with the hopes of striking it rich, the lottery does actually benefit more people than most are aware of. The Kentucky Lottery website states:
The winners of the $1 million scratch-off ticket can choose between “receiving $50,000 per year for 20 years or a lump sum cash payment of $862,000 less minimum required taxes,” the Kentucky Lottery website says.
The mission of the lottery is to “fuel imagination and fund education for ALL Kentuckians” by funding scholarship and other educational programs with “over $4.4 Billion in funding since 1999,” according to the agency.
The slogan for the Kentucky lottery used to be “Someone has to win, might as well be you.” For Michael Schlemmer of Corbin, it was him and it was the best $20 dollars he ever spent.
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