INDIANAPOLIS – School bus driver Scott Hamilton
of Chesterton in Porter County
shed tears of joy and disbelief after scratching his way to $1,000 a week for life
. That breaks down to $2.6 million
over the course of a lifetime. The reality of his new found fortune has left him speechless.
"I couldn't say anything on the way down here," said Hamilton of his drive to Indianapolis. "I kept thinking 'What if it isn't real or the ticket isn't really a winner.'"
The ticket was a winner and Hamilton has the clerk from Zips Food
to thank for his good fortune. Hamilton purchased his Lucky For Life
scratch off ticket during his daily stop to the store located at 1856 Samuelson Road in Chesterton
A regular customer who visited the store just prior to Hamilton's arrival purchased a string of Lucky For Life tickets and won just $10. When Hamilton arrived, he selected a few of his regular tickets and then asked the clerk, Linda, to randomly select one more scratch-off for him. Linda pulled a Lucky For Life ticket for him.
"Usually I only win $5 or even nothing at all on those tickets," he said.
It was only after Hamilton returned to his car and scratched his tickets that he realized he hit it big. He matched one of the winning numbers to a LIFE symbol within his ticket. To be sure, he ran screaming back into the convenience store to have Linda double-check what he was seeing.
"We were both jumping up and down screaming," he said. "I'm still not sure what I'm going to get for Linda, but I'm going to get her something to thank her!"
Hamilton plans to continue driving his school bus and use the winnings to fund his retirement and vacations. One big splurge he has planned however is the purchase of a new vehicle. When asked what he planned to buy he responded, "An FJ Cruiser in School Bus Yellow!"
And his big win won't keep him from purchasing more tickets in the future. "I love the Hoosier Lottery!" exclaimed Hamilton. He plans to purchase more tickets as soon as he returns to Zips.
Players should always sign the back of their tickets. Players have 180 days from the draw date to claim a Hoosier Lottery draw game prize. The Hoosier Lottery reminds all players to play responsibly.
Photo credit: Scott Hamilton at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters in Indianapolis picking up his winning check.