A week passed before Earl Shaw realized his scratcher ticket was worth much more than$20. Click to hear KMZU’s Chris Perkins talk with lottery winner Earl Shaw.

Earl Shaw

Press Release from the Missouri Lottery:

Earl Shaw of Keytesville was surprised to find out that the Missouri Lottery ticket that he thought was a $20 winner, turned out to be worth $20,000. Though it was his first big win (he wins smaller amounts with more frequency), it was the second time he was struck by “lightning.” He and his brother, Jack, were struck by lightning while fishing in 1990. Both survived, and Earl even saw health benefits, but it’s safe to say his experience winning the Lottery has been more enjoyable.

That experience began about two weeks ago. Earl’s wife, Virginia, explained that she often buys three Missouri Lottery Scratchers tickets for him to play while she runs errands. She had purchased three “Missouri Lottery’s Silver Anniversary” tickets at Casey’s General Store, 1601 N. Missouri Ave. in Marceline, and Earl scratched the tickets while he waited in the car on April 15.

When Virginia returned, Earl said, “I just got $20.”

“Oh, well, you’ll make it up,” replied Virginia.

The ticket sat on the counter until more winners were added to the pile a week later. Thinking they now had enough tickets to cash for three more, Virginia gathered the winning tickets for their next trip to town. That’s when she noticed something odd about the ticket.

“I thought, ‘That doesn’t look right. It has a comma on it.’ So I scratched a little more, and there it was,” recalled Virginia. “I went, ‘Whoopee!’”

She later showed Earl and explained it was in fact a $20,000 winning ticket. Earl couldn’t believe it and suggested they go to town and have it verified.

“He just wouldn’t believe me. He said, ‘This can’t be!’” said Virginia.

She added that when they returned to the retail location, “the poor girl about lost her teeth.”

Despite the disbelief, the couple traveled to Jefferson City on April 28 to claim the $20,000 prize. Virginia said the money would go into savings, since their summer travels plans are already funded.

“Earl said he wants to see the mountains again, so I’m going to take him,” she said.

The Shaws are accomplishing all their dreams, it seems.

“He kept saying, ‘One of these days, I’m going to win $2,000,’” said Virginia about the win. “It’s strange – hard to believe. There’s $20,000! That just doesn’t happen.”

“Missouri Lottery’s Silver Anniversary” is a $10 game that officially began Jan. 22. The ticket features six top prizes of $250,000, of which five still remain. Additionally, non-winning “Missouri Lottery’s Silver Anniversary” tickets are eligible for entry in the “Silver Anniversary” second-chance promotion. In a drawing every month this year, 25 winners will be selected to win $1,000. Each of the monthly winners will advance to a grand-prize drawing for $1 million on Jan. 20, 2012. To learn more, visit Molottery.com.

About the Missouri Lottery (www.molottery.com)
More than 70 percent of Missouri voters approved a lottery in 1984.  Since sales started in 1986, the Missouri Lottery has contributed more than $3.9 billion to the state and public education.  Each year the Lottery generates more than $250 million for vital education programs, including A+ scholarships.  Missouri Lottery players have won more than $7.6 billion in prizes, and retailers have earned more than $800 million in commissions.  Overall, more than 96 cents of every dollar spent on the Lottery benefits Missouri.