Wallace and Anneliese Gent of Pekin are the latest winners in the Illinois Lottery’s Cash For Life in-stant game series.
The elderly couple, who today claimed a $1,000 A Week For Life prize, have been married 37 years–and have five grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren between them. Much of their Lottery windfall will be used to financially assist their various progeny.
We don’t really need anything, said Anneliese, 75. We go dancing regularly, go fishing almost every week, and eat out every once in awhile. What else do we need? We had it rough when we started out, like so many do. And some of our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids don’t have it so easy. So, we’ll be helping them out as we see fit.
When pressed, Anneliese jokingly says she may buy some new shoes and a dress or two, even though her closet is already full.
Wallace, 75, retired 22 years ago after a 31-year career at Keystone Steel and Wire in Bartonville. He is similarly modest about his personal plans for the winnings. He loves to fish, but already owns a small jon boat and 25 or so fishing poles–so he’s pretty well set in the fishing department.
His 2-year old Chevy Equinox has about 57,000 miles on it (mostly from driving to fishing spots). So, he may–key word may–decide to trade it in for a new Equinox in the near future.
The couple, both of whom had children from previous marriages, know each other well after 37 years of being married to each other. They have developed an easy relationship with comfortable routines.
When it comes to the Lottery, the routine is simple: Wallace buys $3 to $6 worth of instant tickets a week, and Anneliese scratches them off at home. They regularly win small prizes, and cash-in the winners to buy more tickets. The Gents were home last Thursday when Anneliese scratched off a $2 Cash For Life ticket that appeared to win $1,000 a week for life.
Even though Wallace is not a practical joker, Anneliese wanted to make sure her husband wasn’t somehow trying to fool her by giving her a bogus ticket.
She couldn’t believe it, said Wallace. “You better come over and look at this,’ he recalled her saying. When Wallace came over and examined the ticket, he had a stunned look on his face, according to Anneliese. That was her first real inkling that they had hit it big.
The couple opted to received a one-time payment of $762,000, less taxes.