A Colorado man back in his old central Minnesota haunts for Thanksgiving now has more than a million reasons to be thankful for making the trip.
Shawn Walcheski matched all but the Powerball on one of his three tickets purchased in St. Cloud, allowing him to collect the $1 million prize on Wednesday at Minnesota Lottery headquarters in Roseville.
Walcheski, 42, bought three sets of quick-pick numbers at Coborn’s grocery store, at 2118 8th St. N. in St. Cloud, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the day of the drawing.
“I had bronchitis, so I told my sister I needed to stop for medicine,” the native of Foley, Minn., told lottery officials. “My total was $13 and change, so I said, ‘Powerball is big, give me three.’ ”
After returning home to Denver, Walcheski checked his numbers and saw the second set had matched the Powerball number to win $4. But he didn’t check the third line on his ticket.
“It was in and out of my pocket, on the floor, all over the place,” recalled Walcheski, who works in sales. “A couple of days later, my sister messaged me on Facebook and said to check my ticket again because somebody won $1 million where we bought our tickets.”
This time, he checked all three lines on the ticket and saw that the last set had the first five numbers, good for the $1 million (before taxes) payout.
Walcheski surprised his family and flew back to Minnesota for Christmas, then claimed his prize a few days into the new year.