(PIERRE) – Johnny Christion of Lennox today claimed his half of the $391,206 Dakota Cash jackpot for the Feb. 2, 2011 drawing at the Sioux Falls Lottery office.
He was one of two lucky ticket holders who matched all five numbers to win the game’s top prize. The other winner, who purchased their ticket in Wolsey, has yet to come forward. Both winners receive $195,603 before taxes.
Christion purchased his jackpot-winning Dakota Cash ticket at Casey’s in Lennox. The store will receive a bonus of $2,500 for selling the winning ticket, half of the usual bonus of $5,000 because there were two jackpot winners. The store selling the other winning ticket in Wolsey will also receive $2,500 when the holder of that ticket steps forward to claim their prize.
Christion first learned he had a winning ticket while on the job this morning at Showplace Wood Products Inc. in Harrisburg. Employees were talking about a jackpot-winning ticket being sold in Lennox and a co-worker asked him if he had purchased a ticket for the Dakota Cash drawing the previous night.
“I told him yes, I play every Wednesday. Then he asked me if I knew what my numbers were which I did because I’ve played the same numbers for years. I wouldn’t tell him what numbers I play, though,” Christion said, laughing. He admits the numbers have a special significance but won’t reveal why.
The co-worker returned with a print-out showing the winning numbers which Christion took out to his truck to check against his ticket. When he figured out that he actually was one of the two jackpot winners, he was so nervous he could barely make it back into the plant.
“I tried to pretend that everything was normal, that I hadn’t won, but I couldn’t do it. So I asked my leader for the rest of the day off,” said Christion.
When he’d been cleared to leave, Christion drove home and presented his wife, Barbara, with the winning ticket and the print-out showing the winning numbers. The good news had the couple in tears of joy and disbelief.
“It was just so unbelievable. I play expecting to win, hoping to win, but once it happened, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.