Ryan Hymel earned himself quite the unofficial Christmas bonus recently, thanks to a fortuitous stop in Destrehan.
The Hahnville native and Lafitte resident is now $10,000 richer, thanks to a winning lottery ticket purchase at Big River Food and Fuel at 14190 River Road. The drawing, which was for the Louisiana Lottery’s Mega Millions game, was held Dec. 18. The numbers were 7, 15, 25, 51, 60 and 5. Hymel’s ticket hit five of the six numbers, four white ball numbers and the Mega ball.
“I buy them pretty regularly. That day, I just happened to stop there on my way to work to get a drink,” Hymel said. “I figured, let me grab a ticket or two, since both the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpot are real high.”
In fact, the Mega Millions jackpot has since climbed in excess of $520 million, which was the eighth highest total in the game’s history. It’s resulted in some strong payouts, meaning even the smaller payouts can be plenty large.
“In a sense, man, I was one number off,” Hymel said with a chuckle. “But no, this is still pretty awesome.”
He learned of his good fortune a few hours following his purchase, during his shift at work.
“I made a joke, let me check my ticket and see if I can go home,” Hymel quipped. “And suddenly, I’m checking and seeing, wait these numbers are matching. This is pretty cool. I saw it was five of the xix and my next question was, ‘how much did I win?’”
What he’d won was by far his biggest haul in his time of playing the lottery.
“I think the biggest before was maybe $100, on a scratch-off,” he said.
Hymel said he gave each of his children a bit of spending money, then put the rest in the bank “for a rainy day.”
It’s the latest instance of a locally purchased ticket hitting in recent memory.
In May of 2018, a Luling couple that asked to not be identified hit the jackpot when they purchased a Powerball ticket worth $100,000 from the Paradis Time Saver, the ticket matching four of the five numbers drawn. The couple had also added the “Power Play option” to the ticket and the number drawn was two, which doubled the win to $100,000.
In October of 2017, Des Allemands resident Sylvia Rome hit all six numbers on her ticket to become the sole winner of the Louisiana Lottery’s $650,000 Lotto jackpot, which was the second largest jackpot won last year.
Rome purchased her ticket from Des Allemands Cheap Smokes on Hwy. 90. The store received a one-time bonus of $6,500, which is 1 percent of the prize, for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.
In April of 2019, Kenner’s Matthew LaChance bought a winner from Corner Market in Destrehan, scoring a win of $50,000 that he split with a group of co-workers who pooled together money for a bundle of tickets.