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Retired Navy chief scratches WA lottery ticket — then breaks out in ‘full body sweat’

A 54-year-old retired Navy chief decided to buy a ticket for a lottery game he’s never played before in Washington.

When he scratched the ticket, he broke out in a “full body sweat” and stared down at it in “disbelief,” Washington’s Lottery said in a Wednesday, May 31, news release.

He had won $1.5 million from a Scratch game called Decade of Dollars, which costs $20 to play.

The Stanwood man usually buys Scratch games for $5 or $10, he told lottery officials. But the design on the $20 game caught his eye so he snagged a ticket.

He scratched away and realized he won the game’s top prize. He didn’t believe what he was seeing, so he had a friend look at the ticket with him and read the fine print.

“After reading the fine print together they knew his vision was just fine,” lottery officials said in the release.

Then he went to his wife with his winning ticket, and she also looked at it in disbelief and with “teary eyes.”

The couple celebrated the win over lunch with their son, the winner told the lottery office. They plan to pay off their vehicles, take a family vacation, and do home improvements with some of the prize money.

The man said he will invest the rest and “continue to enjoy his retirement.”

Stanwood is about 50 miles north of Seattle.

Many people can gamble or play games of chance without harm. However, for some, gambling is an addiction that can ruin lives and families.

If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.

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