Elgin truck driver’s Christmas stocking held $380,000
From Submitted Reports January 11, 2013 2:24PM
James Abner of Elgin holds his winning $380,000 lottery ticket.
Updated: February 14, 2013 6:44AM
ELGIN — For years it has been a Christmas morning tradition for the Abner family of Elgin to open gifts, then have coffee while they scratch the instant lottery tickets they give each other.
“It was a little different this year because suddenly we were all cheering and passing my ticket around,” said James Abner, who scratched a Cash For Life instant ticket and won $500 a week for life.
He said the winning ticket was a gift from his son.
“It’s one of the best Christmas gifts ever. We’ll be debt-free because of this lottery win,” he said.
Abner, a truck driver, is married with two sons and two grandchildren. He chose the one-time cash option of $380,000.
He said that in addition to paying off debts, he plans to save some of the windfall for retirement.
The winning ticket was purchased at 7-Eleven, 1024 S. McLean Blvd. in Elgin. The store received a $3,800 bonus, 1 percent of the prize amount, for selling the winning ticket.
The Illinois Lottery offers a number of versions of the Cash for Life instant game including games with top prizes of $500, $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000 each week for life. The newest member of the Cash for Life family, 20X20, offers a top prize of $20,000 a week for 20 years.
For more information, please visit www.illinoislottery.com.