Canyon County

Caldwell family claims $1 million raffle prize

Idaho Lottery
Idaho Lottery

A Caldwell family claimed this year’s $1 million Idaho Lottery raffle prize Thursday.

Luella Rowe and Gainelle Massoth learned of the big win during the televised drawing a week earlier. They and Krista Massoth — Rowe’s daughter and Gainelle Massoth’s daughter-in-law —claimed the prize at the store where their ticket was sold, the Jacksons at 101 Logan St., Caldwell.

“I ... was holding my tickets in my hands when they announced the winning number,” Rowe said Thursday. “I didn’t even look down. I knew I was holding the winner. I couldn’t believe it. Still not sure I do believe it.”

The winning number was 034858.

The three winners, dubbed the ‘Hay-raisers’, have been playing the lottery and pooling resources on tickets for big jackpots for years. They live and work on a family hay farm outside Caldwell.

“We like to play this game because it’s an Idaho-only game,” said Gainelle Massoth. “We always said if we won big we’d split it, so that’s what we’re doing.”

The family has many plans for their winnings including paying down a few debts, creating college funds for the family’s children and contributing to the community.

The Jacksons store that sold the ticket received a $20,000 bonus from the Idaho Lottery. The winning numbers were

Two of the raffle’s $10,000 prizes have also been claimed. They were purchased in Meridian by Mark Backhaus and in Blackfoot by Launa Walquist. Winners of $10,000 prizes in Power County and Kootenai County have not come forward.