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Photo of Michael Vargas

DATE:
Monday, May 22, 2017

MEDIA:
News Release PDF
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CONTACT:
Karie Lowe
(785) 296-5744   Email

Retired Topeka Police Patrolman Wins $20,000 Top Prize

Retired Topeka Police Patrolman Michael Vargas of Topeka received a big surprise this morning when he came to Kansas Lottery headquarters to claim what he thought was a $2,000 cash prize. However, when Lottery officials validated the winning ticket it was actually worth $20,000!  The 56-year-old won the $20,000 top prize playing a $2 Bonus Crossword instant scratch ticket. 

"I recently purchased a new house and was going to celebrate when I stopped at a liquor store I had never been to before," said Vargas.  "I was feeling lucky, so I bought a Crossword ticket.  Instead of playing the game, I scratched off the barcode and scanned it.  When the machine said I had to sign the back of the ticket and claim it at the Lottery, I knew I had won something big." 

Since lottery Check-A-Ticket machines do not show the amount won, Vargas went home to play the game. "I thought I had won $2,000," said Vargas.  "I was happy with that amount." 

When Vargas came to Lottery headquarters this morning to claim his prize, he received a big surprise when Lottery officials validated his winning ticket. 

"When I was told I had won $20,000, I was in a daze," said Vargas.  "I was so shocked the receptionist asked me if I was okay.  Winning $20,000 is a blessing from God.  I feel very blessed to have won." 

The lucky winner, who retired from the Topeka Police Department in 2016 after 22 years of service, has had good luck playing Kansas Lottery games recently. "I used my badge number when I played Pick 3 a few months ago and ended up winning $500.  In January, I won $1,000 playing a $10 scratch ticket.  I'm definitely going to keep playing." 

Vargas said he plans to put his winnings to good use. "I'm going to buy new furniture for my new house, help my parents with a few household items, take a vacation and save the rest." 

The winning ticket was purchased at Lynn's Liquors, located at 3335 SW Gage Blvd. in Topeka.  

TO VIEW VIDEO OF THE WINNER CLICK HERE: MICHAEL VARGAS




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