GRANGER — A lucky Granger man is the first winner to claim a $1 million top prize on the new 50X the Money scratch-off from the Hoosier Lottery.
Steve Smith claimed his winnings Oct. 31 at Hoosier Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis.
“No way!” was Smith’s reaction to his big win when he found himself holding the scratch-off.
Smith bought the ticket at Cira’s Express Mini-Mart located at 215 E. Cleveland Rd. in Granger. He is well-known to the staff and even made a special stop in the store to exchange high-fives with them all before making his claim.
“You always think about winning when you buy tickets, but you never think it is going to happen to you,” Smith said.
The hard-working husband and father of three has no plans to slow down. Smith works seven days a week and owns a construction business with his brother. He also planned to work all weekend after claiming his winnings.
With his good fortune, Smith plans to pay off his house and put in a swimming pool for his children ages 8 to 13. One daughter hopes to go shopping and his wife Kim has mentioned she wouldn’t mind a new car.
Smith chose the cash option of $772,826 and walked away with a little more than $553,000 after taxes.
The Hoosier Lottery says there are still two $1 million prizes unclaimed on the $10 game. Smith’s $1 million win is the largest ever for Cira’s Express Mini-Mart, but is the sixth significant win at the store since 1997. Players in St. Joseph County scored wins in the amount of $10,000, $20,000 and $100,000 at the store between 2003 and 2006.