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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Local couple cashes in on Scratcher ticket

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Emmitt and Christine Robison pose with a copy of their winning ticket.
EAST PRAIRIE -- Walter "Emmitt" Robison of East Prairie claimed he's never won a biscuit in his life, but after winning the Missouri Lottery last weekend, Robison will have plenty of dough for all the biscuits he could ever want.

On Aug. 20 the 70-year-old former deputy sheriff for Mississippi County said he and his wife, Christine, stopped at Casey's, 605 W. Washington, in East Prairie.

"My wife's sister was visiting from Dallas, and she wanted to buy a couple of $10 scratch-off tickets," Robison explained.

After her sister had no luck, Mrs. Robison decided she wanted a ticket, Robison said. So she bought one.

"We don't normally buy a $10 ticket -- that's a little bit rich for us," Robison said. "We don't have money to throw away, but if we do get tickets, we usually get the $1 or $2 ones."

To their surprise, the $10 lottery ticket turned out to be worth $300,000. "She had a quarter and started scratching as we drove off, and said, 'This can't be right. That first one's $15,000,'" Robison recalled about his wife. "She scratched another one, and it said $15,000 and then another $15,000 and another $15,000."

As Mrs. Robison got near the end of the ticket, the couple grew nervous, Robison said.

"We couldn't hardly scratch them. Then finally we scratched them all off," Robison said.

After adding up their winnings -- which was hard to do considering all the excitement, Mrs. Robison pointed out -- the grand prize total was $300,000 -- the maximum for the particular Scratcher ticket.

"We thought, 'There's got to be a mistake,'" Robison said. "I've never won a biscuit in my life."

The couple then detoured to another convenience store, one with a Missouri Lottery scanner, to verify their winnings. And sure enough, it was a winner, Robison said.

"We came home and called the kids over here, and they looked it. My baby daughter broke down crying," said Robison, adding he and his wife have three grown children.

Because they won on a Saturday, the Robisons had to wait until Monday to contact the Missouri Lottery in St. Louis.

"My daughter drove us to the St. Louis lottery building on Monday, and they verified everything. They took our pictures and we're on the Internet now," Robison said, referring to the Missouri Lottery Web site.

From there the Robison's winning information was sent to Jefferson City. The couple were told they would get a check in the mail within the next few weeks.

Unfortunately, Robison said, he didn't get to keep the winning ticket. "I made copies of it though," Robison said. "I hope they send it back. I want to frame it and put it on the wall."

The Robisons plan to use their winnings, which after tax and Social Security deductions, will amount to a little over $200,000, to pay off their house and make some improvements as well as pay off medical bills, Robison said. "She needs a new set of false teeth, and I'm going to get that (Lasik) eye surgery," Robison said. "We may buy a new cook stove."

Robison said they also plan to invest some money for their current retirement.

The Robisons' win was the largest any Casey's employees of the East Prairie store have ever seen.

"The highest we usually see is $50 or $100, and we've never had anything like that. She won $15,000 on everything she scratched," said Carla Jackson, assistant manager at Casey's.

The scratch-off ticket was called "$300,000 Casino Action" and officially went on sale July 2.

And even though the Robisons already won, those who play the lottery shouldn't be discouraged, Robison noted.

"There's only three $300,000 winning tickets for this Scratcher," Robison said. "So there are two more tickets out there."