MACOMB, Ill. -- A Macomb man is the first person in the state to win a top prize, in this case $1.04 million, in a new suite of four Lottery instant games called “The Good Life.”
According to an Illinois Lottery news release sent out Saturday, Larry Roberts and his wife will use part of the winnings to pay down their mortgage, and to set up trust funds for the couple’s three children.
The 47-year-old construction worker and his wife, Shelley, drove to Springfield February 11 to present a winning $1 “The Good Life” ticket to Lottery officials.
While talking with Lottery officials, Roberts said his mother, Patty Ballard, passed away last month after a long illness. The Lottery winner believes his mom’s spirit was “looking out for the family” prior to the win.
Roberts bought the $1 ticket last Saturday afternoon at the CENEX convenience store, 901 W. Jackson in Macomb.
After scratching the ticket in the parking lot, Roberts walked back into the store, where he hugged the clerk who verified his win, and then telephoned his wife with the good news.
Shelley, who was in Peoria at the time Larry called, didn’t know whether to believe her practical-joker husband. When she got home that evening, Larry couldn’t resist misleading his wife a bit on the win, responding to her “did you really win?” inquiry with a legitimate-sounding rebuttal: “Be serious; do you think we have that kind of luck?”
Then, Larry presented the winning ticket, eliciting excited gasps and a few tears of joy from Shelley. After that, the couple stayed up most of the night discussing how best to use the prize, which is paid in quarterly installments of $13,000 for 20 years (totaling $1,040,000 prior to required withholding).
Larry and Shelley have compiled a long list of things they want to accomplish with the money, including: purchasing a granite headstone for Larry’s mother’s gravesite, paying off their home mortgage and car loan, helping family members pay for needed medical care, and setting up trust funds for the couple’s three teenage children. Larry is also considering purchasing a small, 4-wheel ATV to use during hunting season.
Larry has been employed at his brother Jerry’s construction company, Roberts Maintenance and More, and will continue to work; Shelly will continue working at Pella Windows in Macomb.
“The new ‘Good Life’ family of instant tickets is appearing in lottery retailers throughout the state. Depending on which ticket you buy, the prize could be winning between $1,000 and $10,000 a week for the next twenty years," said Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones, "Future games under the "Good Life" label may award both cash and other prizes that fit what people imagine might be part of anyone's good life."
The Good Life tickets debuted February 5 and are available at four different price points--$1, $2, $5 and $10 with respective top prizes of $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 and $10,000 a week for 20 years. Grand prize winners for the four games will receive significant cash amounts over the 20 year life of the grand prize:
$1 game: $1,040,000
$2 game: $2,080,000
$5 game: $5,200,000
$10 game: $10,400,000
For selling the winning ticket, the CENEX store in Macomb will receive a bonus of $10,400, equal to 1 percent of the prize amount.