Soon after the Kansas Lottery announced its $1 million Holiday Millionaire Raffle number, a Topeka resident came to Lottery headquarters to claim the prize. The 61-year-old winner held the winning raffle number, which was 124909.
The winner chose not to be identified publicly, lottery officials said, but it was clear she chose to be happy about winning.
"I told myself I was playing a game and to not be upset if I didn't win," said the winner. "I bought tickets in hopes of winning, but I really didn't think I would."
The winner, who has worked for the state of Kansas for 33 years, watched the live announcement on a local television station.
"After seeing I had the winning ticket, I called my husband. I told him, he'd better sit down because I was the $1 million winner."
She said she bought several of the $20 tickets starting in October, before work and after work, to have tickets that were spread out among the 150,000 that were available.
"I looked at last year's winners and saw how spread out they were, so I decided to buy my tickets randomly," she said.
"After I bought a ticket, I signed the back of it and put it in a safe place. I made a spreadsheet of my tickets and this morning had my sheet out and ready to check my tickets. I can't believe I had the $1 million ticket."
Although her husband is retired, the winner plans to continue working.
"I love my job and the people I work with."
"I want to go dancing with my husband, travel, and save the rest of my winnings for retirement. I've been worried about retirement, but now that's not going to be an issue.
"I never thought it would be raining money in my front yard."
She bought the winning ticket at Dillons Gas Store 9037, at 6829 SW 29th St. in Topeka.