BONO, Ark. — Michael and Carrie Middlebrook of Bono are still finding it hard to believe even after claiming their $1 million prize on Friday, Jan. 22 at the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Claim Center in Little Rock.
On Tuesday evening, Jan. 19, Carrie went to Jordan’s Kwik Stop, located at 221 Co-op Drive in Bono, to pick up an item she had asked her husband to bring home, which he had forgotten.
While there, she asked to buy a $2 scratch-off ticket along with two $10 tickets and a 5-Buck Bundle ticket. However, the cashier misunderstood and pulled a $20 $1 Million Spectacular ticket from the dispenser instead of the $2 ticket.
When she got in her car, Carrie scratched the $1 Million Spectacular ticket. When she saw the “1” under No. 12 (her winning number), she thought maybe she had won $100. But then when she saw the “M,” she rubbed her eyes a few times and started to cry.
Carrie said the three-mile drive to her home seemed like 300. She called her husband, who was cooking dinner, and asked him to come outside.
“When I opened Carrie’s car door, she was crying and shaking. I thought she had hit a deer!” Mike laughed. “I looked at the ticket and couldn’t believe it.” Mike finished cooking, but the couple couldn’t eat they were so overwhelmed. And they had trouble sleeping that night, too.
Before today, they had only told a select few about their win – “only ones we knew wouldn’t ask for money,” they said.
They plan to pay off their house and vehicles and put a big part of the prize money back for retirement. The Middlebrooks have been married for 20 years and both work in Jonesboro.
Jordan’s Kwik Stop will receive a 1 percent commission of $10,000 for selling the winning ticket.
The Middlebrooks are the third players this month to claim $1 million prizes from the Arkansas lottery. Since 2009, the Arkansas lottery has sold 80 tickets that paid $1 million or more to players. Two top prizes of $1 million remain to be claimed on the $1 Million Spectacular instant ticket.
The Mega Millions® jackpot for tonight’s drawing was bumped today to $1 billion with a cash value of $739.6 million. If won, it would be the second largest jackpot in Mega Millions’ history and the third largest in U.S. lottery history, trailing only the $1.586 billion Powerball® jackpot in January 2016 and the $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot in October 2018.