Lottery winner's touching story

Posted at 9:56 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 23:56:13-05

Seeing is oftentimes believing.

Last Saturday evening, Jacob Christopherson of Meridian had a self-described “freak-out” moment -- but in a good way. That’s when Christopherson began checking his “Idaho $1,000,000 Raffle” tickets for winners. And he could not believe what he was seeing. 

“I had been buying tickets around the 25,000th tickets, trying to win one of the $1,000 prizes. I stopped in the Maverik by my mom’s house and just bought one to see what the current ticket number was,” Christopherson said, on the purchase of his ticket. He was referring to the Idaho Lottery’s instant win feature that occurred once each 25000th ticket purchased. “It was just a random purchase,” he pointed out.

That random purchased turned out to be the top prize winner in the “Idaho $1,000,000 Raffle” game, making Christopherson the Idaho Lottery’s newest millionaire and the ninth in this game’s history.

His mom, Julie, tells reporter Lauren Johnson that Christopherson's life hasn't been easy. When he was 5-years-old, his father died in a car accident. And his brother died when they were both teenagers. His mom says that when Christopherson called her to say he won, he said that his brother was watching out for him. 

“I called my mom, I called my girlfriend” Christopherson stated. “ I’m still shaking. I don’t believe it. People don’t believe me that I won.”

His winning ticket was purchased from Maverik at Locust Grove and McMillan in Meridian. This is the fifth year out of the past six years where the top prize winning ticket in the “Idaho $1,000,000 Raffle” game has been sold at a Maverik location.

Christopherson plans to invest his winnings wisely and use some of it to pursue his passion for playing golf. He doesn't plan to quit his job, but to continue working. He also tells 6 On Your Side that he plans to help his mother out. 

The two $10,000 prizes from this year’s “Idaho $1,000,000 Raffle,” one each from Ada County and Canyon County, have not been claimed.

Lottery officials said this year’s $1,000,000 Raffle game generated more than $800,000 in benefits for Idaho Public Schools and the State’s Permanent Building Fund.