On Saturday night, Jacob Christopherson of Meridian had a self-described “freak-out” moment, but in a good way. That’s when Christopherson began checking his Idaho $1,000,000 Raffle tickets for winners — and found one.
“I had been ... trying to win one of the $1,000 prizes,” Christopherson said in an Idaho Lottery news release Monday afternoon. "I stopped in the Maverik by my mom’s house and just bought one to see what the current ticket number was.”
That "random purchase" turned out to be the top prize winner in the raffle, making Christopherson the Idaho Lottery’s newest millionaire and the ninth in the raffle's game’s history.
“I called my mom; I called my girlfriend," Christopherson said. “I told them I had the $1 million winner, but then had them double check and write the numbers down, too. I wanted to be sure. I’m still shaking. I don’t believe it.”
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Christopherson presented his winning ticket, bearing the number 087162, at the Idaho Lottery office Monday morning. The ticket was purchased from the Maverik at Locust Grove and McMillan in Meridian. This is the fifth time in the past six years that the top raffle ticket has been sold at a Maverik store.
Christopherson plans to invest his winnings and use some of the money to pursue his passion for playing golf.
The two $10,000 prizes from this year’s Idaho $1,000,000 Raffle, one each from Ada County and Canyon County, have not yet been claimed, lottery officials said. Winning numbers on those tickets are 145473 and 164503.
Winners have 180 days from New Year’s Eve, when the numbers were drawn, to claim their prizes at the Idaho Lottery’s Boise headquarters, 1199 Shoreline Lane, Suite 100.
More than 6,100 tickets sold in the raffle carry some sort of prize. To check for winning numbers, visit idaholottery.com, call the Lottery’s hotline at 208-334-4656, use its Check-a-Ticket app or visit an Idaho Lottery retail location.
The raffle raised $800,000 for Idaho public schools and the state’s permanent building fund, according to the news release.