HELENA – Monday was a big day at the Montana Lottery with three winners claiming a total of $52,835.
Forrest Bradley, of Kalispell, claimed the top prize of $30,000 playing a Slingo Montana Scratch ticket. He purchased the ticket at White Oak Super Stop.
But it wasn’t actually Bradley who bought it, it was his friend Amanda Bush. Bush purchased two tickets — one for her and one for Bradley. Hers was not a winner, but Bradley didn’t even realize that his was a winner.
Bradley only scratched the ticket halfway, then it ended up in Bush’s car and was nearly thrown away. Once they saw it hadn’t been completely scratched, they finished it and realized they had won big.
“We were jumping for joy,” Bush said. “We couldn’t believe it was real.”
Bradley and Bush are splitting their win. Bradley plans to invest some for his son, take a small vacation and hopes to open his own food truck. Bush wants to invest in stocks and fix her car.
The Montana Lottery was created by referendum in 1986. Since then, it has paid over $590 million in prizes and returned approximately $259 million to the State of Montana.
Also Monday, Debbie Pratt, of Lewistown, won $7,835 playing Big Sky Bonus. She purchased her winning ticket at the Town Pump on Main Street in Lewistown.
“You can’t win if you don’t play,” said Pratt.
Pratt bought her ticket in mid-June and is still in shock she won a prize so large. When she went to check her ticket at the store, Pratt was confused why it said to file a claim. She has never seen a win like that.
This is Pratt’s first big Montana Lottery win. She likes to play games that are specific to Montana. Pratt does not have any current plans for her winnings. It is all going to go into her bank account.
Brian Post, of Billings, won the top prize of $15,000 playing a Limited Deluxe Super Hot 7’s, a Montana Lottery Scratch ticket. He purchased his winning ticket at the Cenex Zip Trip on Rosebud Lane in Lockwood.
Post, a concrete finisher, said he has been playing Scratch tickets for years. He said he usually makes his money back -- and has evenhas won up to $500. He was in disbelief when he saw that he won $15,000. Post had to ask his son to confirm, then went to the store just to make sure it was real.
“I just do it for fun,” said Post.
He purchases $10 to $20 in Scratch tickets every Friday and plays them on Saturday morning. Post like to scratch them while he watches the Weather Channel.
Post plans to pay off his bills, his credit card, and put the rest into his bank account.