Winning Lotto ticket sold at Batavia store
By Linda Girardi For The Beacon-News December 19, 2012 1:58PM
Bonnie Rowlett from Batavia laughs with a customer on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at the 7-11 in Batavia that sold the $7 million winning lotto ticket. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 7, 2013 3:22PM
BATAVIA — Christmas arrived early for someone who shops at the 7-Eleven store on East Wilson Street.
Someone who purchased an Illinois Lotto ticket at the store won $7.25 million in Monday’s drawing. The winner matched all six numbers on a Quick Pick ticket with a “shot.” The numbers were 2-15-18-23-50-52.
“We are trying to rack our brains who the winner is,” franchise owner Rickey Niedfeldt said.
But rather than a regular customer at the store at 336 E. Wilson St., “it could have been somebody passing through hoping the odds would be in their favor away from home,” Niedfeldt said.
Customers at the store Wednesday morning included employees from the nearby Panera Bread bakery-café, Daddio’s Diner and The Rhino Room all were stunned to learn somebody had actually won that much money from a ticket bought in Batavia.
Niedfeldt said he originally shrugged it off when a customer informed him that the 7-Eleven was listed on the official Illinois Lottery website as the winning store.
Niedfeldt said he and his wife Marlene have sold lottery tickets for the 25 years they have owned the convenience store in Batavia. He said somebody did win $10,000 from an instant scratch off some years back, but they were never expecting to really ever sell the ticket for such a big jackpot.
The franchise owner said an Illinois lottery representative posted a sign saying the Lotto ticket had been sold at his store. “It’s a sign I never thought we would have,” he said.
“Since we are a neighborhood store, we are hoping it is a neighborhood winner,” Niedfeldt said. “Our regular customers are curious who the winner is.”
7-Eleven check-out clerk Bonnie Rowlett said she worked Monday’s morning shift but does not recall selling a Quick Pick with an extra shot.
“What a time to win. It’s really a Christmas blessing,” Rowlett said.
Customer Eric Ring, 28, said he already considers himself blessed because he was called back to work after being laid-off from Caterpillar in 2008. While the Batavian said he does not play the Lotto he decided to buy his instant scratch off tickets at the 7-Eleven.
“I figured this was a lucky store,” he said.
“Hopefully the person who did win really needs it,” Ring said.
Darice Augustine, assistant manager at Daddio’s Diner in downtown Batavia, said there was a lot of speculation over who could be the winner during Wedneday’s breakfast rush.
“Everybody’s hoping it is someone they know and somebody from Batavia,” Augustine said. “It’s nice that it happened days before Christmas.”
This is the second time within the year an Illinois Lottery player has hit the jackpot in Batavia. A Batavia resident, who the Lottery identified only as James B., claimed a $3 million prize in a St. Patrick’s Day drawing in March. The ticket was sold at the 7-Eleven at 710 E. Fabyan Parkway