It’s not every day that Julie Hendrix of Independence wins a $50,000 Missouri Lottery prize. What tends to happen more frequently is for her husband, Richard, to buy her a crossword-themed Scratchers ticket. Both situations took place on Feb. 5.
“My husband usually brings me a crossword ticket once a week because they are my favorite,” said Hendrix, 39. “He brought home two tickets and said, ‘Which one do you want? Pick an arm.’
“I was watching a movie with the kids in the other room (when she played the ticket) and hollered at him that there were 10 words. We were very excited,” recalled Hendrix, at the time thinking they had won $5,000.
Hendrix visited MOLottery.com to see what to do next when claiming a large prize, and she took the advice of making copies of the “Bonus Word Crossword” ticket for her own records.
“All night last night I was all excited about $5,000. I copied the ticket, and I was just double-counting, and I’m like, ‘Wait, whoa. There’s an extra line there. There are 11 words; not 10 words,’” said Hendrix.
The revelation of an additional word was the difference between a $5,000 prize and a $50,000 prize.
“There were so many letters once you scratch them all off. I was so excited about the 10 words that I didn’t even think there could be 11,” said Hendrix. “I must have counted them a dozen times to make sure there were 11. I called my husband bawling.”
The reality of the bigger prize meant the difference between a house remodel and decreasing a financial burden for the sizeable Hendrix family, too.
“My husband and I are foster parents. We have five of our own, and we are foster parents to four. We were talking about finishing our basement to have extra room for the kids with the $5,000, but now we will get to pay off our mortgage, too.”
Hendrix claimed one of eight $50,000 top prizes available in the $3 “Bonus Word Crossword” Scratchers game.