In a limo, new millionaires, Mary and Steve Pearson of Cary, pulled up to Mr. A’s Liquor World in Palatine to accept their oversized, $3.25 million check Monday afternoon.
“Oh my God, I can’t believe this has my name on it,” Mary said as she stared down at the big check in her hands at Mr. A's, 855 N. Quentin Rd.
“I’m speechless,” said Steve just before embraced his wife on the sidewalk in front of the Palatine convenience store.
Surrounded by friends and family, the couple accepted the check from the Illinois Lottery. Mary and Steve Pearson said they plan share a portion of their winnings with family and close friends.
With no kids, the couple has two dogs, a total of 11 siblings and 35 nieces and nephews to spoil with their winnings.
“We’ve already spent like 225 thousand in our heads just on our family,” Steve said, adding they haven’t yet received the prize money, but that hasn’t stopped them from planning what they’re going to spend it on.
“We’re going somewhere soon,” said Mary, a 17-year mammographer at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.
“We’re going to Hawaii, Waterloo, Italy, Amsterdam, and then we’re probably going to take a little break,” Steve said.
The Pearsons opted to cash in their $3.25 million winning Lotto ticket for one lump sum of money, which after taxes leaves them with $1.75 million.
Currently on a leave of absence, Mary said she is undecided if she will return to work at Good Shepherd Hospital but Steve said he definitely plans to keep his job as a sheet metal worker.
Buying the Winning Ticket
On his way home from work on Thursday, Sept. 6, Steve bought the winning Lotto ticket at Mr. A’s Liquor World two days before the drawing. Steve’s $2 computer generated Quick Pick ticket matched all six numbers from the Sept. 8 drawing.
Steve said he didn’t even check his lottery tickets until he returned to Mr. A’s Liquor World on Monday, Sept. 10, and saw the sign posted on the door, “Check your Lotto tickets, $3.25 million winner at this store.”
As soon as he read that, Steve said he turned around and headed home.
“I drove to Cary praying through the sunroof to anyone up there who would listen.”
Steve’s prayers were answered- the third Lottery ticket he checked was the $3.25 million winner.
Raj Patel, owner of Mr. A’s Liquor World accepted the $32,500 ceremonial check, commission for selling the winning ticket. Patel said he was happy one of his regular customers won the big prize.
“He’s been coming in here for five or six years, mostly to buy Lotto tickets,” said Patel.
Over the last five years, Steve said he’s spent $20 a week on Lotto tickets, $10 at Mr. A’s Liquor World in Palatine and $10 at a convenience store in Cary.