May 3, 2013

Best meal ever: South Bend man buys frozen pizza for dinner, wins $150,000 for dessert

HowieINDIANAPOLIS - In hindsight, Mark Howie of South Bend is glad he was forced to fend for himself for dinner Tuesday night. Howie's stop at CVS to grab a frozen pizza netted him some pretty sweet desserts.  It put him in the right place at the right time to win $150,000 on a Hoosier Lottery Scratch-off. 

"I worked late and my wife was at her nephew's ball game so she told me I would have to fend for myself for dinner," said Howie.  "I bought two Jack's pepperoni pizzas and a Scratch-off. It was only the sixth or seventh ticket I've ever bought."

After scratching the Winner Take All ticket and discovering his $150,000 win, Howie didn't have much of an appetite.

"I didn't even eat the pizza," said Howie. "I couldn't stop staring at the ticket. I couldn't believe it. I called Molly and told her to come home and check it out."

While the couple said it took a while to accept that the ticket - and their good fortune - was real, they had some fun talking about what they might do with the winnings, over a Jack's frozen pizza last night.

"We're going to pay down our mortgage enough to get the mortgage insurance off there to lower our monthly payment,  max out our IRA contributions for the year and then maybe have a little bit of 'fun money' to play with," said Howie.

Howie I WONHowie and his wife are both from the South Bend/Elkhart area.  Mark works as a service technician in the RV industry.  Molly is in marketing at a local radio station 103.9 The Bear. They seem to have a sound appreciation for how much money $150,000 is and what it can do for them.

"It's not a huge amount of money, but it can change your life," said Welsch.

"It will allow us to save more on a monthly basis," said Howie. "Which is going to be good."

Howie purchased his lucky pizza and Scratch-off at the CVS at 51467 U.S. Hwy 31 North in South Bend. The lucky couple claimed their winnings at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters in Indianapolis today.

The mission of the Hoosier Lottery is to maximize net income for the state in a socially-responsible manner. In fiscal year 2012, the Hoosier Lottery generated $211 million in surplus revenue which was used to significantly reduce the motor vehicle excise tax for all Hoosier drivers and also supported the pension funds for retired Indiana teachers, police and firefighters. Player prizes for the fiscal year totaled $533 million and $60 million was earned by Indiana retailers on the sale of Hoosier Lottery products.

Since its inception in 1989, the Hoosier Lottery has produced more than $4.2 billion for the citizens of Indiana, $1 billion in commissions and bonuses for participating Indiana retailers, and has paid out more than $8.9 billion in player prizes.

The Hoosier Lottery reminds all players to play responsibly. Must be 18 or older to play.  Gambling Addiction Referral Line: 800-994-8448.


For more information, please contact Al Larsen at or 317-264-4805 or Betsy Gutierrez at or 317-264-4852.

Photo:  Mark Howie and his wife Molly Welsch claim their winnings at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters in Indianapolis May 3.

Must be 18 or Older to Play. Please Play Responsibly.

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