A Christmas gift bought in Minnesota paid off big-time on New Year’s Day for a Wisconsin newlywed.
Delane Emery, of Webster, in northwestern Wisconsin, claimed his $1 million prize — subject to taxes, of course — on Wednesday at Minnesota Lottery’s headquarters.
Emery, 31, was one of two winners of that top prize in the lottery’s annual Millionaire Raffle game, which has the winning numbers drawn each Jan. 1.
“It still doesn’t feel real,” Emery said while in Roseville to make his winnings a reality.
“We were half asleep when my stepmom called to ask if we had checked our numbers. We had two tickets, and I read off the number on the first one. She said, ‘That’s the one! You guys just won $1 million!’ ”
Being newly married, Emery said, “it’s a very nice way to start out, with not a lot of worries.”
The winning ticket had been a Christmas gift. “It’s something my family does every year,” Emery said in comments released by lottery officials. “My parents buy the tickets and distribute them between myself and my siblings.”
Emery’s winning ticket was purchased at the Rock Creek Pit Stop on Hwy. 70 in Pine City, roughly 35 miles west of Emery’s home.
The second $1 million prize from the raffle has yet to be claimed. That ticket was sold at the Kwik Trip at 9250 Springbrook Drive NW. in Coon Rapids.
Five additional raffle tickets purchased were each good for $100,000.
Each ticket costs $10. Numbers are then drawn to determine who wins cash or other prizes, such as new vehicles, vacation packages, free groceries and other payouts.
To win, the full six-digit number on the ticket must match one of the six-digit winning numbers that are drawn.
For a complete list of this year’s 4,164 winning raffle numbers, visit mnlottery.com/games/raffle_2017.