Metro-East News

Metro-east woman wins lottery; ‘clerk ... was as excited as I was’

A 25-year-resident of Highland is richer after winning $250,000 in the Lucky Day Lotto evening drawing.

Kathy Garcia won the Sept. 23 drawing when her Quick Pick ticket matched all five numbers: 15-22-25-26-32.

“The first thing I am going to do is take my husband, five kids and four grandchildren out for dinner to celebrate,” Garcia said when she turned in her winning ticket worth $250,000 at the Fairview Heights prize center.

The day after the drawing, Garcia was in her car when she used her phone to look up the winning numbers on the Illinois Lottery website.

When she saw her numbers matched she went to the Circle K, at 12587 Illinois State Route 143 in Highland, where she bought her ticket to verify her win.

“The clerk who double-checked my ticket was as excited as I was and kept congratulating me,” Garcia said.

Garcia plans to invest her winnings for retirement.

The Circle K received a bonus of $2,500, or 1 percent of the prize amount, for selling the winning ticket, the lottery said.

Jason Schaumburg, a spokesman for the Illinois Lottery, said winners are receiving their money as the state’s stopgap budget allows the lottery to pay out winnings through the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year.