Swansea man wins $1 million prize from Illinois Lottery

News-DemocratMarch 29, 2014 

Delbert May of Swansea won $1 million in the St. Patrick's Day Millionaire Raffle. After witholdings, he will net exactly $700,000 -- the federal government takes 25%, and the state takes 5%. He bought three of the special $20 tickets at the Collinsville Moto Mart located on Illinois Route 157, spending a total of $60. In previous years -- on the same lottery raffle -- he won a $1000 prize.

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— Delbert May, 46, picked up his $1 million Illinois Lottery check Saturday afternoon at the MotoMart gas station where he bought a winning ticket two weeks ago.

May said he expects to keep his job as a union electrician, and plans to invest most of the $700,000 he gets to keep after taxes are deducted.

May also plans to pay off his son Jacob's college loans, buy a new truck and go on vacation with the money he won through the St. Patrick's Day Millionaire Raffle.

"It'll be wherever I can plant my feet in sand," May said during a ceremony at the MotoMart convenience store at 733 N. Bluff Road. "Probably the Caribbean."

May didn't learn of his good fortune until the evening of March 18, when he checked online to see if any of the three $20 Millionaire Raffle tickets he had bought would pay off.

At first, May said he didn't believe what he saw.

"I looked at them quite a few times," he said. "Then I started breathing hard. ... I kind of freaked out. Then I called my mom."

Melva May, also of Swansea, thought at first her son was playing a joke on her.

"At first I didn't believe him," said Mrs. May, herself a dedicated lottery player. "But then I knew, just from the tone of her voice."

Employees of the MotoMart where May bought the winning ticket will split a bonus amount to 1 percent of the winnings, or $10,000.

Three other Millionaire Raffle tickets paying $1 million apiece were purchased in Bloomingdale, Decatur and at another MotoMart in Gillespie.

Jeff Faulkner, a marketing executive at Belleville-based MotoMart, said it's no coincidence that MotoMart sold two $1 million tickets for the Millionaire Raffle, as well as the ticket for a $218 million Mega Millions mutlistate lottery jackpot that a Red Bud couple won in 2012.

"We're a good family company," Faulkner said. "And when you're doing things right, good things happen."

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