September 6, 2011

Opening day of $124K Gold Rush
pays off big for Vietnam vet  

HitesINDIANAPOLIS – $124K Gold Rush, a new Scratch-off from the Hoosier Lottery, launched Sept. 1 and it didn’t take long for Rochester, Indiana’s Jim Hites to make the most of the new game.

Hites, a Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, purchased his ticket Sept. 1 at Casey’s General Store at 1811 E. State Road 14 in Rochester. Hites scratched the ticket before he left the parking lot and had a hunch it was a winner.

“I couldn’t believe it was true, so I went in and asked the clerk to double-check it for me,” said Hites, who claimed his winnings at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters Sept. 2.

As he suspected, the ticket proved to be a winner and Hites became the first player to claim a top prize of $124,000. Four top prizes remain unclaimed at this time.

Hites, who served with the United States Marine Corp from 1968 to 1972, has already looked into some new investments and is planning a quick trip to help celebrate his win.

“I don’t expect that much will change with me,” said Hites. “I’m just very happy.”

As with all Hoosier Lottery games, the net income generated from the sale of Hoosier Lottery Scratch-offs is turned over to the state. In fiscal year 2010, the Hoosier Lottery transferred $190 million to the state where it was allocated to teachers, police and firefighters retirement funds as well as the Build Indiana Fund which ultimately reduces Hoosiers’ license plate costs.

Players have 180 days to claim prizes on Hoosier Lottery Scratch-off games. The Hoosier Lottery reminds players to always play responsibly.


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

Photo:    Jim Hites claims his winnings at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters.



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