Troy Opdahl of Hazel on March 11, 2011 claimed his $300,000 top prize from the Cash Stash instant scratch ticket game at the Sioux Falls Lottery office.
Opdahl purchased his winning $20 instant ticket at Kones Korner in Castlewood. While Opdahl says he occasionally plays both lotto and instant games, it was the $300,000 top prize that prompted him to play Cash Stash.
"I thought $300,000 would be a pretty nice prize to win. So I bought a ticket," he said.
When Opdahl scratched off the ticket and saw the letters matched on the validation code, he knew he was a winner but at first wasn't sure how much he'd won.
"I knew by looking at the letters that I'd won something. I would have been happy just to get my money back. Then when I saw I'd won $300,000, I thought 'oh my God'! This is definitely better than just getting my money back," said Opdahl.
He immediately told the clerk at Kones Korner that he'd "just won the big one" and the clerk took a look at the ticket, too, to make sure. The odds of winning the $300,000 top prize on Cash Stash are 1:61,465.
Opdahl, a dairy farmer who's married and has two children, says while the win is still sinking in, he does have some thoughts on what to do with the prize money.
"I think we'll pay off the house and the bills, put some money away in a college fund for the kids," he said, then adds," And maybe an upgrade on my pickup, too."
He also offers some advice to other would-be winners. "You can't win if you don't play."
Opdahl is the first $300,000 top prize winner of the $20 Cash Stash instant scratch ticket game. There are two top prizes remaining.