A Henry County man said word of his $30,000 Mega Millions win traveled fast around town.
“Last night I went in for supper at a place there in town and the guy that owned it came up to me and said, ‘Congratulations,’” Chris Elder, 57, recalled with a laugh on Wednesday as he claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Clive. “I’m like, ‘For what?’ I didn’t say anything to anybody. He goes, ‘It’s a small town, Chris.’”
Elder, of Wayland, a town of around 1,000 people, matched four of five white balls and the Mega Ball in the June 8 drawing. He was one number away from winning a share of that night’s $56 million jackpot.
His initial $10,000 prize was tripled because he opted for the $1 Megaplier® add-on at the time he purchased his ticket, which multiples non-jackpot prize amounts by up to five times.
“It multiplied $10,000 three times, and here I am,” Elder said. “Instead of $10,000, I’m at $30,000.”
He purchased his winning easy-pick ticket at BP, 213 W. Highway 78 in Wayland, then returned after the drawing and asked an employee to check his ticket on the store’s lottery terminal.
“It goes, ‘Woo Hoo, you’re a winner!’ I’m thinking, ‘All right, how big?’” Elder recalled. “She couldn’t even tell me. She had to show me. She handed me the receipt and I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s big!’”
He said he was so excited, he took the receipt home to show his wife, Jennifer, then realized he’d left the lucky ticket at the store. He quickly returned to retrieve it.
The winning numbers in the June 8 drawing were 9-22-39-41-54 and Mega Ball 19. The Megaplier was 3.
Elder, a truck driver, said he was considering using his winnings either to pay bills or upgrade his vehicle to better accommodate his grandchildren.
Players in $2 Mega Millions choose their first five numbers from a pool of 70, and another number – called the Mega Ball – from a separate pool of 25. The Megaplier option is available for an extra $1 per play.
For more information about Mega Millions, visit ialottery.com.