Metro-East News

Southern Illinois man comes forward to claim large Lotto jackpot

A Benton man has come forward to claim an Illinois Lottery jackpot worth $11.25 million.

Lottery officials alerted the public that a Circle K gas station in Benton on Feb. 13 had sold the lone winning ticket in a Lotto jackpot. Donald Wendell of Benton recently went to the Lottery Prize Center in Fairview Heights to claim his prize, according to the Southern Illinoisan. Wendell bought a $1 Quick Pick ticket and matched the six numbers that were drawn for that day’s drawing: 2, 21, 33, 36, 37 and 41.

Wendell told lottery officials that he buys tickets once or twice a week and usually jokes with the clerks.

“I always joke with the clerks and say, ‘You sold me the winning ticket, right,’” he said. “Well this time they actually did.”

Wendell returned to the store after hearing that it had sold the winning ticket.

“When I saw that I had all of the numbers, I got goosebumps from head to toe,” said Wendell, who said he plans to donate some of this winnings and invest part of the money.

Benton is a town of 7,000 located near Interstate 57 about 85 miles southeast of Belleville in Franklin County.

Don O’Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND