A California man who won $4 on Missouri Lottery Scratchers decided to gamble his winnings on the December 28, (US) Powerball draw and turned the investment into $3.1 million win.
Purchasing engineer, Derek VanLoo, received the lottery scratch cards as a Christmas gift. When he took the Scratchers to his local Break Time convenience store, instead of asking for $4, he told the store clerk, "Give me tickets for whatever drawing is tonight." The clerk informed him there would be two draws—Powerball and Lotto—so VanLoo bought one of each and got lucky with the Powerball.
VanLoo checked his ticket the following day and was overjoyed to discover his scratch card winnings had Powerballed into a six figure sum. He and his family had a busy day ahead of them though, so VanLoo didn't share the good news with his wife, Dena, until later that evening. She had received a phone call from her mother, and the two had been discussing the winning ticket sold at the Break Time store. After Dena had put down the phone, VanLoo asked her to sit down. "You know that Lotto ticket your mother just called about?" He said. "It’s us. We’ve got it."
The VanLoos claimed their prize on January 2, and plan to take the annuity option, which will provide them with $124,000 a year, before taxes, for the next 25 years. The VanLoos both intend to go on working, and have already spoken to a financial adviser. "We’ll be able to retire comfortably, and we’ll be able to pay for our children’s college education. That’s a welcome relief," VanLoo said.