Christmas shopping trip lands Meridian family $250,000

Posted at 11:14 AM, Dec 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-19 13:14:40-05

While the weather outside in Meridian on Friday morning was a bit frightful -- with blowing snow and cold -- John Driskell dropped his son off for school, then set out to do some Christmas shopping before returning to pick him up mid-day.

One of his morning stops was at the Eagle Island Fred Meyer store on Chinden Boulevard.

Before leaving the store, he bought and played a “Huge Cash Game” Scratch ticket from the Idaho Lottery vending machine -- and ended up $250,000 richer.

“At first, I thought it was just a $25 winner. Then I scanned it with the Lottery check-a-ticket app on my phone. It said I was a winner and needed to call the Lottery, so I thought maybe it was a $2,500 winner,” Driskell said. “I called my wife and asked her to come home and meet me, because we had a prize we had to pick up. I didn’t tell her I’d just won $250,000 playing the Lottery.”

After getting their son out of school, the Driskell family drove to Boise.

“When my husband told me we had a prize to pick up, I thought it was an Xbox from one of the radio stations,” explained Driskell’s wife, Kristen.  “Then he turned and drove into the parking lot at the Lottery.”

Only when the ticket was officially scanned for payment by Lottery Customer Service did Kristen know that her husband had won the “Huge Cash Game’s” first top prize of $250,000!

“I thought it said $25,000, but then I really looked and it said $250,000!” Kristen exclaimed.

A few weeks ago, the couple was part of a hotel promotion in Reno, Nevada where she was a finalist for $15,000 cash and a new BMW.

“We got to stay for free for two nights, so that was good.  But I didn’t win the cash or the car. I guess I’ll take the $250,000 as my ‘consolation prize,’” she laughed.

The Driskell family are making plans for their winnings, including investing in their son’s college education fund. 

“Santa’s list for Christmas just got a little bit longer,” Driskell smiled.