Mining for Dollars: Idaho Player Scratches, Hits $30,000 Top Prize

Lottery Balls

Happily ever after might just have a new face in the Silver Valley, in Idaho.

Life-long Kellogg, Idaho, resident Shawnee Cato (married name Dunsmore) and her husband Branden Dunsmore arrived tired and a little bleary-eyed after an all-night drive to claim a $30,000 winning Hot Ball Bingo ticket.

The story of the winning ticket began when Shawnee tried to cash in an old winning Keno Idaho Lottery Scratch GameTMthat had expired.

Already she instead purchased a $3 Hot Ball Bingo ticket and took it with her to do her grocery shopping.

I only scratched the bar code at the customer service desk. I had Vesta Brady there scan it for me, explained Shawnee.It rang up “Claim at Lottery, so, I knew it was at least a $600 winner. Vesta had me sign the ticket right then.

After signing it, she left the big winner with Vesta who finished scratching it for her to see how much she had won while Shawnee went and did her shopping.

A few minutes later, Vesta paged Shawnee over the store intercom to immediately return to the customer service counter.

I hurried back and Vesta told me that I’d won $30,000! continued Shawnee.

I couldn’t believe it. I knew Branden was going to be surprised.

Shawnee took her winning ticket home to share the news with her husband of almost one year. Branden didn’t believe her at first, but then she showed him the ticket and told him they were going to Boise.

Branden, a local area miner, had to wait until Friday for a day off before the couple could head off into an Idaho sunset and make the long drive to Boise together.

The joyous couple plan to use their winnings wisely, to remove their debt, help family, and look into buying a house.

I felt like I won the Lottery when I married Branden, said Shawnee as the couple kissed during their check ceremony in Boise. And now, I have won the actual Lottery! Does it get any better?

Nope. It doesn’t.


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Married to a beautiful (and extremely intelligent--- smarter than I am) South African woman. One child (brilliant). I've written three books, only one now available. Editor in chief of magazines...former managing editor .... news reporter, magazine writer, joker, sometimes a fool, lottery expert, lover of old, classic movies, music fanatic, Science Fiction fan (Warhammer 40,000, Game of Thrones). Goal for next year: Walk the Camino de Santiago. Into metaphysics, Esther Hicks (Abraham), Louise Hay


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