June 5, 2013 – Chesterfield firefighter Bob Church told the Missouri Lottery Monday that he might end his 37-year career with the Monarch Fire Protection District one year ahead of schedule.
That’s because he scratched off the first grand prize ticket for Missouri’s new Millionaire scratch-off game only one day after the game’s release to Missouri Lottery retailers.
The top prize for Millionaire is $1 million, and after Church’s win, there are only two more million-dollar tickets waiting to be sold.
Church said that the win was “still kind of trying to sink in” on Monday, when he collected his prize as a lump-sum payment of $700,000.
He told Lottery officials that he was on his way home from the firehouse for a week off when he bought the ticket at his regular stop for scratch-offs, an Aro-Mart in St. Charles, Mo.
“They’ve got one of those little Scratchers tables,” Church said. “I went back there. I stood there for about 10 minutes looking at it before I ever took it up to the counter.”
After confirming his big win with the cashier, he says he took the ticket to his wife Dawn while she was at work.
“I was relieved to find out he was OK physically, he was shaking so bad I thought something was wrong,” Dawn said.
The couple plans to pay off their home and their cars with some of the money, and say they’ll invest the rest.
Church told the lottery that he’s most looking forward to “not running calls all night, being able to sleep through the night, and relaxing and enjoying life.”