The owner of Mike’s in Salisbury had a surreal feeling when posting Missouri Lottery winning numbers following the March 15 Mega Millions drawing. Michael Bales, 35, thought he recognized a few of the numbers. In fact, he matched four white-ball numbers and the Mega Ball to win $10,000. Since he added the Megaplier option at the time of purchase, the prize was increased to $20,000.
“I printed out the numbers and stuck them out. I didn’t even bother looking at them,” Bales began. “I was off doing something else, and I looked up at the little screen. Well, the first two numbers were mine, and I noticed the Mega Ball was mine. I was like, ‘Yeah! I won $100!’”
After checking a little more closely, he discovered he was the winner of the state’s only $20,000 prize in that drawing. Bales was familiar with the numbers because he plays a series of birthdates. The winning Mega Millions numbers for March 15 were: 4, 8, 17, 22, 32, and the Mega Ball was 8.
“My wife’s birthday was the only number that didn’t hit,” he confirmed.
Bales purchased the gas and liquor store at 600 W. Highway 24 in Salisbury in 2008. It has something of a winning history. A $1.3 million winning Lotto ticket was sold there in October 2007.
Plans for the windfall were clear.
“Pay bills. Lots and lots of bills,” said Bales. “It will pay just about every one of our bills in full.”
He indicated that he wanted to clear the table so that he could focus on building a new home. His family, including his wife, who is serving active duty in Texas with the Army Reserves, and four children, need more rooms under one roof. They plan to tear down one of two two-bedroom homes and rebuild.
Bales has advice that he said he regularly doles out to customers.
“I tell everybody, ‘Make a list. When you win something big, start at the top of your list, and work your way down,’” he declared. “That solves the whole issue of what’s going to happen with it. Be positive about it, but don’t pin your hopes on it, and have your list ready to go.”
Mega Millions is a multi-lottery Draw Game with jackpots that start at $12 million. Drawings take place on Tuesday and Friday nights. For an extra $1 at the time of purchase, players can add the Megaplier option and multiply non-jackpot prizes by a multiplier numbers selected during the drawing.