Metro-East News

Granite City man wins $1 million lottery prize

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One minute, Charlie Thomas, 62, of Granite City, was having his morning coffee and scratching off an Illinois Lottery ticket.

The next, he was a $1 million winner.

An announcement from the Illinois Lottery confirmed Thomas redeemed the winning $10 Million Cash Bonanza ticket at the Fairview Heights Lottery Prize Center Friday.

“I was so excited,” Thomas said in a news release. “I didn’t even finish my coffee.”

Thomas elected to take his prize as a $600,000 lump sum and said he would take his daughters and grandchildren to Disney World. The rest, he said, would go toward his retirement.

Thomas bought the ticket at the Easy Stop, 3215 Illinois 162 in Granite City. Easy Stop received a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Lottery officials said two of the $10 million Cash Bonanza tickets and nine of the $1 million prizes remain unclaimed.