For the second time in just five weeks, the Hoosier Lottery has paid a special visit to Warsaw.
In December, a local man won $1 million after his ticket matched a Mega Millions drawing. On Monday, things were twice as sweet after a Plymouth man claimed a $2 million prize.
The game is called "2,000,000 Monopoly.” Tickets go for $10 a pop, with three $2 million prizes available. A Bluffton Ind. man won the first-place prize on Jan. 11 2011. As luck would have it, Rick Cooper of Plymouth won the second prize one year later on the exact same day.
"On behalf of everyone at the Hoosier Lottery, thanks for playing Hoosier Lottery scratch-offs and congrats on your $2 million prize,” Hoosier Lottery spokesman Al Larsen said as he presented an over-sized check to the Cooper family.
"It’s definitely the only time in my life where I felt like it's going to be okay. It gives me a peace of mind knowing we won't have to worry about anything,” Rick’s wife April Cooper said.
The Cooper's currently live in a tiny two-bedroom apartment, have $25,000 in medical debt and until now, didn't think they'd be able to send their kids to college. That's all since changed.
"We’re going to be able to afford a house and you know a home is a home and that's where you build your family and you build your life,” Rick added.
The Coopers also bought two SUV’s, including a 2012 Lincoln Navigator so the entire family can fit into one car. They're also looking to purchase their dream home in Plymouth. However, both Rick and April have no plans to quit their jobs, saying that's just not their style.
"It’s all about options and to have them available is what anyone could ever hope for,” Rick added.
"I got up that next morning and my routine was the same. I was having trouble getting my hair done, the kids were screaming; life is normal and that's what I like. Not everything's always going to be perfect because that's life,” April concluded.
The Hoosier Lottery has been good to the Coopers. A few years ago Rick won a $10,000 prize on a different scratch-off.
As for the Lassus Handy Dandy gas station, it doesn't get a cut of the winnings because this was a scratch-off game. Even so, workers say they're just glad to see a loyal customer doing so well.
The Hoosier Lottery says one in every 2.2 million of its Monopoly tickets is a $2 million winner. With two already claimed, one still remains.