KY man buys $5 lottery ticket while camping and returns to site with bottle of champagne

A Lawrenceburg man returned home from a camping trip $75,000 richer after he purchased a $5 Grillin’ & Chillin’ scratch-off ticket, according to a Wednesday Kentucky Lottery press release.

He purchased the winning ticket at the Valero station in Frankfort with $5 he won from another scratch-off ticket, the lottery said.

“The whole first row was all doubles,” winner Vernon Caldwell told Kentucky Lottery officials. “Then the next row, then the next. I thought maybe they were all $1 and $2 wins, but when I saw that first $2,500, I stopped.”

The odds of winning any Grillin’ & Chillin’ prize is 1 in 3.76, according to Kentucky Lottery, with the prizes ranging from $5 to the $75,000 top prize.

Caldwell said he “couldn’t believe” he won.

“We were camping, and I sent my wife a text letting her know, but she was asleep,” Calwell said. “When I came back to the campsite, I brought a big bottle of champagne with me to celebrate.”

Even Caldwell’s wife was unsure.

“My wife didn’t believe it. She just kept saying, ‘You’re lying!’” Caldwell said.

Caldwell brought home $53,625 after taxes on his win. He said he has multiple ideas of what to do with the money, but for now he’s going to keep it in the bank.

The Frankfort Valero will win $750 for selling the winning ticket.

If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, help is available at 1-800-522-4700.

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