The lucky player, who chose to remain anonymous, bought her winning ticket at the Valero gas station, located at 7477 Rawsonville Road in Belleville.
“I stopped in to play my Fantasy 5 numbers, like I always do, and decided buy a Triple Bonus Cashword ticket,” said the 54-year-old winner. “When my husband and I pulled in the driveway, I realized I didn’t get my Fantasy 5 ticket.
“As we drove back to the store, my husband said: ‘I hope you win something on these tickets after all this driving around!’ I never thought I’d win this much!”
The player visited Lottery headquarters Thursday to claim the big prize. With her winnings, she plans to share with family and buy a plane ticket for a co-worker so that he can see his son for the first time in several years.
“I’ve felt numb since winning. You see stories about winners, but never imagine it could ever happen to you,” the player said.
Players have won more than $3.8 million playing Triple Bonus Cashword, which launched in December. Each $10 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $10 up to $500,000. More than $38 million in prizes remain, including two $500,000 top prizes and 18 $1,000 prizes.
Lottery instant games may be purchased at 11,000 retailers across the state.
In 2017, Lottery players won more than $960 million playing instant games.