Friends share million dollar lotto ticket bought in Flanagan

By WEEK Producer

December 6, 2012 Updated Dec 6, 2012 at 11:24 PM CDT

FLANAGAN, Ill. -- Rockey Patel is sure glad his friend Bob Baker only had a dollar in his pocket last Wednesday.

"He had one dollar, one dollar in change in his pocket," recalled Patel. "He almost walked out the door and I said, 'Come over here, Bob."

Baker, who lives in Minonk but visits the Flanagan grocery store that Patel manages once a week as a meat inspector, was a buck short to buy a two-dollar Powerball ticket.

So Rockey made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

"I said I'll get one from you next week Rock, I'll get one from you next week," said Baker. "And he said, 'No, no, no.' And he threw a dollar out and he hits quick pick, hands it to me, puts his initials on top and says, 'Bob, if you win we'll split it."

And wouldn't you know it, they did win.

Their ticket matched 5 of 6 numbers in the November 28 Illinois lotto drawing, good for a one-million dollar payoff.

"I called Bob right away and he was so happy," Patel remembered.

Bart's Grocery is owned by Patel's cousin, Shalin, who also cashed in from their winning ticket. He gets a $10,000 commission because his store sold the ticket.

Shalin Patel is so grateful that he's decided to donate $1,000 to the local grade school.

"I appreciate the Flanagan community and the people who give us our business," said Shalin Patel. "That's why I'm donating 10 percent of my winning commission to Flanagan grade school."

After taxes, each man will bank $350,000.

Bob says he's already popped for a new washer and dryer. Rockey plans to invest a portion of his winnings and use the rest to put his two children through college.