A Fremont man has joined an exclusive club. Tim Lawton won $5 million on Indiana's $5 Million Club Scratch-off. He is the first lucky player to win a top prize on the game. He is only the second person in Hoosier Lottery history to win $5 million on a scratch-off game – the largest prize available on a scratch-off in Indiana.
Lawton elected to receive the cash option of roughly $4 million ($4,050,000) and walked away with $2.8 million after taxes. Hoosier Lottery Public Relations Manager Al Larsen introduced the new multi-millionaire during a ceremony at Stateline Tobacco Discount at 6843 North Old 27 in Fremont, where he purchased his winning ticket.
Lawton was on his way to work Dec. 13 when he purchased his lucky ticket. He didn't make it into work. Lawton is a retired truck driver who has worked in semi sales for the last 10 or so years and had planned to retire Jan. 1. He says even now he may not retire completely and may continue to work a few hours a week.
The Ohio-native-turned-Hoosier attributes his win to a sixth sense. He says he almost didn't buy the $5 million winning ticket. He initially intended to purchase different tickets and was in the process of saying to the clerk "give me two Wheel of Fortune tickets" but stopped midsentence and changed his purchase – and fortune.
"It was a fluke that I picked that one," said Lawton. "It was like a light went on and something just told me to buy it."
Lawton said that same sixth sense told him he was a top prize winner even before he had scratched the whole ticket. He was right. The self-scanner advised him to see the cashier who then advised him the prize was too big to be paid in the store, so he scratched the rest of the ticket and revealed what he was not shocked to see – a $5 million prize!
The Steuben County man plans to meet with a financial advisor in order to make smart decisions about his windfall. Ultimately he says his plan is to "do a lot of good" with it, mostly by helping his children and grandchildren.
"One of my granddaughters works real hard and wants to go to Ohio State. I'll pay for her to go," Lawton stated.