McHENRY – About a month ago, Candi Reasinger of McHenry bought a few lottery tickets from Mech Mart Marathon, turned to a store employee and said, "One of these days I'm going to make it rich."
That was minutes before she sat in the neighboring parking lot of the McHenry Post Office and scratched off a $1 million prize winning ticket.
"I called my husband and read off the numbers and he goes, 'Read that again,'" Reasinger said. "I read it again and he said, 'That's a million dollars.'"
A month later, Reasinger was all smiles Friday inside the same Mech Mart Marathon, where she was presented with an oversized check for $1 million by Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones.
"The most fun thing I get to do in this job as lottery director is give out very big checks to very lucky winners who have overcome the odds and won lots of money," said Jones, as he held the check with Reasinger, who will soon receive the official not-for-show check.
Her big win came during a routine she had grown used to after working at the post office for 26 years.
Before work, Reasinger said she often stopped at the neighboring gas station, 4608 W. Crystal Lake Road in McHenry, to get a drink and a few lottery tickets.
The routine, it seems, has paid off.
Reasinger and her husband, Jack, said they've already met with a financial adviser who will help them plan for the future. But she added there are a couple more immediate indulgences for which the money will likely be used.
"I retired [Thursday] from the post office … after 26 years, and I plan on going and spending time with my father in southern Illinois," she said. "… I'd like to go to Florida and buy a house or condo and maybe just live down there permanently, or keep the house here for the summer and live down there in the winter.
"So far, that's all we've decided to do."
Jack, who eight years ago retired from the post office, said he will keep his part-time job at the Veterans Assistance Commission in Woodstock.
As the retailer of a winning ticket, the Mech Mart Marathon owners also benefited from Reasinger's grand prize. Mini and Sudhir Nair, owners of the store in McHenry and two in Crystal Lake, were presented with a $10,000 check, or one percent of the overall prize.
"This is the first time," Sudhir Nair said of the large win. "It's exciting. … This ticket can bring more customers."
The ticket on which Reasinger won, Fabulous Fortune, is a $20 ticket with a $4 million top prize, according to an Illinois Lottery news release.
The release also said there are still five $1 million prizes and three $4 million prizes left unclaimed.