Statistically speaking, the lottery is a bad bet. Many criticize state lotteries for feeding off lower socio-economic folks, with the dream of hitting it big. Whatever the reason people play, someone has to win, right?
Michael Schlemmer, of Corbin, Kentucky is one of those someones. He was running low on gas and stopped in at the Convenient Food Mart on US Hwy 25 West in Corbin, Kentucky. Once inside he bought $20 dollars of gas and a $20 dollar scratcher. So, why didn’t he put $40 in his tank? Probably cause he knew he was going to strike it rich!
He went to his truck and scratched the ticket, and the rest changed his life.
The lucky winner told the Kentucky Lottery, via Fox Business:
“I ran out of gas, and I coasted in there. I had $40 bucks on me and bought $20 worth of gas and bought a ticket.”
While this isn’t unusual behavior in small-town America, what happened next was. Schlemmer scratched the ticket and could hardly believe his eyes! The stunned man walked back into the store where both owners were working and showed the clerks the winning ticket.
Michael from Corbin won the top prize on a $20 Scratch-off ticket! He said that his car ran out of gas and he had to "coast" into the gas station where the winning ticket was purchased! Join us in congratulating Michael on this WINNER WEDNESDAY! 🥳 https://t.co/qvBagpDLU5 pic.twitter.com/mBBcSIZQSY
— Kentucky Lottery (@kylottery) May 24, 2023
“The owners of the store were there, and they both started grinning.”
Naturally they would be grinning, as all employees and the store owners get a percentage of lottery winning.
He went on to tell the Lottery:
“Until I get the check in my hand, I don’t believe it,”
The freshly minted millionaire collected his winnings on May 18. Schlemmer arrived at the Kentucky Lottery headquarters and picked up his check for $616,330, following taxes. The Corbin resident opted for the lump sum, and after the tax man and Joe Biden got their cut, it was still a cool amount. Just enough for that new truck he had been planning.
As fate would have it, Schlemmer had been in the market for a new vehicle, but had been waiting for a check before he could go to the dealership.
“I told the dealership I’m waiting for a big check to come in and then I hit that,” Schelmmer stated.
While critics blast the lottery system, it is vital for small business, and helps to fund programs statewide, including education in Kentucky.
Small businesses in the Bluegrass State rely on revenue and portions of winnings from things like the lottery and the so-called “grey games” that are in so many small town businesses. Without these proceeds many mom and pop, country stores wouldn’t exist.
While many eschew and even criticize state lotteries for being predatory and bilking poor people from their money with the hopes of striking it rich, the lottery does actually benefit more people than most are aware of. The Kentucky Lottery website states:
The winners of the $1 million scratch-off ticket can choose between “receiving $50,000 per year for 20 years or a lump sum cash payment of $862,000 less minimum required taxes,” the Kentucky Lottery website says.
The mission of the lottery is to “fuel imagination and fund education for ALL Kentuckians” by funding scholarship and other educational programs with “over $4.4 Billion in funding since 1999,” according to the agency.
The slogan for the Kentucky lottery used to be “Someone has to win, might as well be you.” For Michael Schlemmer of Corbin, it was him and it was the best $20 dollars he ever spent. Will he go green and get an electric vehicle so he never has to stop at the gas station again? The folks at Convenient Food Mart in Corbin certainly hope not, as they definitely want to see him again.
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