Word hadn’t quite gotten around to all the RaceTrac employees working at the store on South Fort Worth Drive that a co-worker had sold a big winner.
The Texas Lottery announced Thursday that a Denton resident, Jesse Patino, has claimed the first of the three $7.5 million grand prizes in the Millionaires Club game, although the RaceTrac store received word the day before.
Ashley Collins, spokeswoman for Atlanta-based RaceTrac, said company officials were excited that a winning ticket was sold in one of their stores.
“Of course, it’s a great windfall for the person who won it,” Collins said.
Retailers receive a commission for every ticket sold and a bonus for jackpot winners. RaceTrac will be eligible for a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, lottery officials said.
RaceTrac employees said they have many customers who play regularly but not all of them are playing Millionaires Club. Introduced in April, the scratch-off tickets cost $50 apiece. The odds of winning are 1 in 2.51, including break-even prizes, with more than $137 million in prizes. Two $7.5 million grand prizes have not been claimed.
Patino’s prize is among the largest in the Denton area in recent years, but not the largest. In 1995, a 7-Eleven store sold a quick-pick Lotto Texas ticket with a $18.4 million payout, according to state records. Two years later, Henry C. Mitchell bought a quick-pick Lotto ticket worth more than $2 million at a local convenience store. Denton’s last big lottery winner was almost 14 years ago, with more than $3.6 million paid out on a quick-pick ticket.
In 2009, the Deli-Quick in Cross Roads sold two big-winner tickets in one week, both scratch-off winners who played regularly. One claimed a $100,000 prize and another claimed one of five $1 million prizes in the Texas Millionaires Club.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.