A Kentucky man made an emergency stop at a gas station with just $40 in his pocket. Spending all his cash, he left with $20 worth of fuel in his tank and over half a million in hand.
Michael Schlemmer of Corbin, Kentucky, spent $20 on a winning “$1,000,000 Luck” scratch-off card from Kentucky Lottery at the Convenient Food Mart on U.S. Highway 25 West. Schlemmer’s car “coasted” into the gas station because it was so low on fuel, he said in a statement.
The Kentuckian realized he had hit the jackpot after returning to his car. As he scratched the ticket, a million-dollar symbol appeared: He had won the scratch-off card’s top prize.
Schlemmer ran into the store to tell the minimart employees, who were “grinning” at the news.
“Nothing went through my mind,” Schlemmer said. “I just got up and went back in the store and showed it to them. Until I get the check in my hand, I don’t believe it.”
Earlier this month, Schlemmer picked up a check for $616,330 from Kentucky Lottery Headquarters. That’s the total value of his $862,000 lump sum lottery payout, minus taxes.
Lottery grand-prize winners can choose to take one lump sum payment or a series of annuity payments, which amounts to a higher payout doled out over a longer period of time.
Schlemmer plans to purchase a “newer” car with the money. He will put the remainder of his winnings in the bank.
“I told the dealership I’m waiting for a big check to come in and then I hit that,” Schelmmer said.
Schlemmer isn’t the only one who is walking away richer from the winning ticket sale. The convenience store where he bought the ticket will also receive $8,620, the Kentucky Lottery said in a statement.
The Kentucky Lottery funds educational programs, grants and scholarships for Kentuckians, the agency’s website states. The odds of winning the scratch ticket’s million-dollar prize are not stated on the site, only that a player’s chances of winning change with every ticket sold. Odds of winning any of a number of prizes from the scratch-off ticket are 1 in 3.57. The lottery has raised more than $4.4 billion in funding since 1999.