Kentucky man who ran out of gas buys $1M winning lottery ticket

CORBIN, Ky. — A Kentucky man who ran out of gas got to fill more than his tank. He filled his bank account in a big way.

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Michael Schlemmer, of Corbin, coasted to the gas pumps at the Convenient Food Mart in his hometown and decided to buy a $20 scratch-off ticket. He scratched off a $1 million winner, according to the Kentucky Lottery.

“I ran out of gas, and I coasted in there,” Schlemmer said in a news release. “I had 40 bucks on me and bought $20 worth of gas and bought a ticket.”

Schlemmer scratched the ticket for the $1 million Luck game and saw the automatic symbol, signifying that he was $1 million richer.

“I scratched it off and I looked at it and went back in the store,” Schlemmer told lottery officials. “I showed the girls that sold it to me, and they about had a fit. The owners of the store were there, and they both started grinning.”

Schlemmer said he was not immediately excited by his sudden windfall.

“Nothing went through my mind,” he told lottery officials. “I just got up and went back in the store and showed it to (the store clerks).  Until I get the check in my hand, I don’t believe it.”

Schlemmer got the check on May 18. He decided to take a lump sum of $862,000, rather than annual annuity payments. After taxes, Schlemmer filled up his bank account with $616,330.

Schlemmer said he had already been looking to buy a new car. His winning ticket makes that decision easier.

“I told the dealership I’m waiting for a big check to come in and then I hit that,” Schlemmer said, adding that he will put the rest of the cash into his savings.

Convenient Food Mart will receive $8,620 for selling the winning ticket, lottery officials said.

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