An Elk River man drove by this certain building nearly every day and imagined going inside one day to claim his riches.
That day came Friday for Jeffery Love, holder of a Lotto America ticket that hit the jackpot this week for $21.6 million before taxes.
The ticket was purchased in Ramsey, at the Holiday convenience store on Ramsey Boulevard just off Hwy. 10. It matched all five numbers drawn plus the Star Ball — 16, 22, 32, 36, 42, Star Ball of 8 — to win the jackpot.
Love had one year to claim his prize, but Love came to the Roseville office of the Minnesota Lottery just about as quickly as possible, two days after the winning numbers were drawn.
He was on his way to work Friday when he learned of his good fortune. First, he called into work and told them he would “be a little late,” he said. It wasn’t long before he called back and let them know that he wouldn’t be in at all Friday.
It had long been one of Love’s dreams to visit the lottery office and claim a big prize. “I drive by the lottery office every day on my way to work and always say, ‘One day … one day,’ ” he said.
Love said that he stopped at a lottery retailer Friday morning and scanned his ticket. The scanner message instructed him to contact the Minnesota Lottery to claim the prize.
“I thought, ‘OK, this is big. Let me check the numbers on my phone,’ ” he said. “When I compared the winning numbers to my ticket, they matched exactly. I called [wife] Vickie and said, ‘We have a situation.’ ”
He added, “I didn’t trust my eyes, I wanted to have Vickie look at it.”
After seeing the ticket and confirming the winning numbers “eight or 10 times,” Vickie Love told her employer that she needed the day off.
This Holiday location is becoming quite the seller of lottery tickets with sizable payouts. Prock said it has a $1 million winner and two $50,000 winners to its credit. For selling this latest big payout ticket, the store will receive a $10,000 bonus.
The Lotto America jackpot has been won three times since the twice-weekly game began on Nov. 12, 2017. This is Minnesota’s second Lotto America jackpot win. The Kujava family of Badger, Minn., shared a $22.8 million jackpot won on March 14, 2018. The Kujavas’ winning ticket was purchased at a Holiday on 3rd Street NW. in nearby Roseau.
Along with Minnesota, Lotto America is played in 12 other states. It replaced Hot Lotto in the fall of 2017, and like its predecessor, has a jackpot that grows as each drawing fails to produce a winner. The jackpot now resets to $2 million.