For more than three weeks, Joey Hunter went about her life — until she learned that a lottery drawing on the dawning of a new year had made her a millionaire.
The Blaine woman abandoned her hair appointment on Thursday, when she realized that she was one of two people who captured the top $1 million prize in the annual Minnesota Millionaire Raffle.
Hunter said she heard one of the $1 million tickets was sold at Kwik Trip in Coon Rapids shortly after the Jan. 1 drawing. “I didn’t think much of it,” she recalled. “I didn’t think I bought my ticket there.”
But it was while she was heading to that hair touch-up that she finally got around to checking her ticket and discovered her good fortune. “I started bawling right away,” she said.
Just the same, she kept her appointment — but not all of it.
About halfway through, she said she thought, “What am I doing here? I shouldn’t be here. This is a big one.” Hunter left and headed to Minnesota Lottery headquarters in Roseville and claimed her winnings (subject to taxes).
Hunter, a 43-year-old dental lab technician, said she and her husband are looking forward to being debt-free after the big win. “We’ll pay off our home and two cars,” she said.
She’s also excited to start college funds for her two children. “We often talk about how we are going to pay for college so to be able to do this for our boys is going to be a great feeling,” she said.
The other $1 million Raffle prize was claimed earlier by 31-year-old Delane Emery of Webster, Wis. His winning ticket was purchased at Rock Creek Pit Stop in Pine City. Being newly married, Emery said, “it’s a very nice way to start out, with not a lot of worries.”
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.