Belleville Couple Puts $100,000 Ticket on Ice for Safekeeping

A lucky Belleville couple had an unbelievable start to the New Year after winning a $100,000 cash prize in the Kansas Lottery's Holiday Millionaire Raffle Grand Prize drawing January 3. Due to conflicting work schedules, Tim and Karen Hiatt were not able to claim their prize until yesterday, so they put the ticket on ice for safekeeping.

"On Black Friday, I stopped at our local Casey's and asked the store clerk what lottery ticket she thought I should buy," said Tim Hiatt. "If it weren't for her suggesting I buy a Holiday Millionaire Raffle ticket that day, we never would have won."

After the January 3 Holiday Millionaire Raffle Grand Prize drawing, Tim stopped at a liquor store to check his raffle ticket. When the store clerk scanned it, he received the surprise of a lifetime.

"When I checked the ticket myself, I received a message I'd never seen before," said Tim. "The message said something about claiming the ticket at the Lottery. I thought something was wrong, so I asked my friend who was working at the liquor store to check the ticket for me. When we found out it was worth $100,000, we couldn't believe it! I was so surprised!"

When Tim returned home and shared the great news with his wife Karen, she couldn't believe it either.

"I thought he was joking," said Karen. "I didn't believe him until he went back to the store and had the ticket checked again. Tim took a photo of the screen on the lottery terminal that showed we had to claim the prize at the Lottery. I knew then he wasn't kidding."

Since the lucky couple knew it would take a couple of weeks before they could make a trip to Topeka to claim their prize, they decided to put the winning ticket in their freezer for safekeeping.

"It's kind of scary having a big winning ticket like that lying around," said Tim. "We decided to put the ticket in our freezer in case someone broke into our house. We figured no one would bother looking in there."

The Hiatts, who have been married 36 years, said they planned to buy a new vehicle with their winnings and pay off bills. The winning ticket was purchased at Casey's General Store 1195, located at 1307 28th St. in Belleville.