Mary & Bob Mikkelson
September 15, 2004
Mary & Bob Mikkelson of Holmen, Wis. are the Minnesota State Lottery’s newest millionaires! The retired couple matched the winning Hot Lotto numbers from the September 15 drawing to win the record $10.8 million jackpot. They chose the cash option of $6,468,066.
Bob Mikkelson described their winning experience. “My buddy and I each bought $5 [Hot Lotto] every Wednesday and Saturday for the last two or three months. The jackpot was growing and growing — we thought we could win $3 or $5.”
On September 15th, the Mikkelsons crossed the border to purchase lottery tickets. They stopped at Saver Stop, 100 Twilite St. in La Crescent. But before entering the store, Mary decided to get in the game. “She gave me $4 and said ‘Buy two Powerball and two Hot Lotto,’” Bob said. “She would buy a $2 ticket every now and then.”
That evening, the couple checked their tickets. Bob’s tickets were nonwinners. But Mary’s showed something different. “I didn’t win, so I checked Mary’s tickets,” Bob recalled. “She didn’t win on Powerball so I checked her Hot Lotto ticket. I said, ‘Hey, you’ve got the first five numbers right’, So I had to check the Hot Ball. I thought, ‘This can’t be.’ So, I went to the computer to see if it was right.”
The computer confirmed the win. Mary’s quick-pick ticket had indeed matched the winning numbers of 2-3-15-26-36 and the Hot Ball of 18 to win the jackpot. “I got a little nervous,” Bob said. “I thought ‘What do we do?’”. He called the Lottery’s Public Relations office the next morning, as well as their financial advisor.
The couple kept their good news quiet until that evening. “We went out to Red Lobster and we told them [Bob’s sister and her husband],” Bob said. “I almost dropped my teeth,” his sister said with a smile.
“We don’t know what to do with it yet,” Bob said of their new fortune. “Cars will come, a nice new house in the future. We have a financial advisor to help us.” Mary joked, “He’ll still have an allowance.”
Why do the Wisconsin residents play the Minnesota State Lottery? “I like the games — I like Powerball, Northstar Cash™ and Hot Lotto, of course,” Bob said. “I wanted to win. But I never thought we’d win the big one.”
Hot Lotto is the multi-state lotto game that offers players nine ways to win. Players select five numbers from 1 to 39 and one number from 1 to 19 (the HOT Ball). The Hot Lotto jackpot starts at $1 million and grows until somebody wins. Jackpot winners have the option to receive their prize in a single lump sum payment (cash option) or over 25 years (annuity option). The odds of winning a cash prize are 1:16, 1 in 10.9 million for winning the jackpot.
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