(PIERRE) – Lee W. Johnson’s Independence Day weekend kicked off with a bang, although the Wall man didn’t know it until the holiday was over. Johnson had the lone winning ticket to take the $130,000 Wild Card 2 jackpot for the July 2, 2011 drawing.
He claimed his prize July 6, 2011 at the Rapid City Lottery office. The odds of winning the Wild Card 2 jackpot are 1:1,359,288.
Johnson, who says he buys his lottery tickets at a variety of different places, purchased his lucky Quick Pick ticket at Common Cents in Wall. The store will receive a bonus of $1,300 for the sale. Normally a Powerball and Mega Millions player, it was the low jackpots in those games and a recent fortune cookie that prompted him to try his luck elsewhere for the July 2, 2011 drawing.
“All the other jackpots were low so I decided to buy the Wild Card 2 ticket,” he said. “And about two weeks ago, I got a fortune cookie that said I would win a lot of money. I purchased tickets for the next draw after that but I didn’t win a thing on that drawing. Now, FINALLY!”
Johnson always uses the South Dakota Lottery website (lottery.sd.gov) to check his numbers but didn’t check his Wild Card 2 ticket until July 5th. He checked it several times at home first, then went to his business, the Badlands Bar in Wall, where he and an employee looked up the numbers again.
“We went to the office to check the ticket and on the first page I pulled up on the web, the numbers weren’t matching and Randy (the employee) said there were no Wild Cards. Turns out I had pulled up the Dakota Cash numbers instead!” said Johnson.
Once he had confirmed that he had the winning ticket, Johnson broke the news to his father, Les, who was there at the bar. Johnson says the best part about winning is the “feeling you get from finally winning something big.” He plans to use some of his winnings for his winter vacation to Thailand or Mexico, and says he’ll continue to play lotto.
“I just purchased some tickets today,” he confirmed, adding this advice to people who have yet to hit the big one: “Just keep trying!”
Wild Card 2 is played only in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. The jackpot currently sits at $100,000 for tonight’s drawing.