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Many Hoosiers have turned $5 into serious money lately playing Hoosier Lottery Scratch-offs. An artist in Valparaiso, a semi-retired groundskeeper in Indianapolis, a mill worker in Michigan City, a lucky man in LaPorte, a family of seven in North Vernon, a tearful woman in Hartford City, and a thirty-something player in Salem all claimed prizes of $75,000 or more from $5 Scratch-offs in the last three weeks.

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Randall Cozart Jr. was a $75,000 winner from a $5 lottery scratch off ticket

Randall Cozart Jr. of Salem plans to buy a new car after winning $75,000 on a $500 Explosion Scratch-off.

Cozart purchased his winning ticket at Smokers Friendly at 301 West Hackberry St. in Salem.

He claimed his prize at Hoosier Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis Jan. 26. Two of the game’s top prizes are unclaimed at this time.

More than 1,000 prizes of $500 are unclaimed at this time as well.

Craig and Robin Janota of Valparaiso have big plans for their $100,000 Scratch-off winnings.  They are going to take a vacation to see Maine, New York and upper New England. “It’s a bucket list thing,” said  Robin Janota, a retired autoworker and an artist. “It’s the only part of the country I haven’t seen.”  Craig Janota, who is also a retired autoworker, plays the Lottery about once a month or so. He won a top prize on a Red Hot Crosswordgame he purchased at Family Express at 3550 S. State Rd. 2 in Valparaiso.  The couple claimed their winnings Feb. 16 at Hoosier Lottery headquarters. “It feels like a weight has been taken off our shoulders,” said Craig Janota. “It’s a little security in our lives.  It’s very comforting.”  One top prize remains unclaimed on the $5 game.

When Wayne Rogers of Indianapolisclaimed his $100,000 prize Jan. 25 at Hoosier Lottery headquarters, he exclaimed, “This is going to be sweet.”  The semi-retired groundskeeper said he plans to pay bills and help his family because, “You don’t come across this kind of money every day.” Rogers purchased his top-prize winning 20X the Money ticket at Ricker’s at 5061 East Washington St. in Indianapolis. Three top prizes remain unclaimed on the game at this time.
For Kim Travis of Michigan City, one ofthe side effects of winning $90,000 may be a good night’s sleep. Travis won on a Platinum Mine 9X ticket she purchased at Franklin St. 66 at 3533 Franklin St. in Michigan City. When Travis claimed her prize Jan. 22 at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters with her husband Tim, she described the experience as “surreal” and said it will be a “relief to go to sleep at night with money in the bank.”  Travis is pictured above with the “I WON” sign.
Lucky in LaPorte County
Platinum Mine 9X paid off for another lucky LaPorte County player, Josh Wyse of LaPorte, who won a $90,000 top-prize on a Platinum Mine 9X ticket he purchased at Speedway at 1026 Lincolnway in LaPorte.Wyse claimed his winnings Feb. 16 at Hoosier Lottery headquarters. Three of the game’s nine top prizes remain unclaimed at this time.

Cynthia Lockhard of North Vernon was in search of a good night’s sleep for her husband when she went to buy cough medicine at Circle K at 790 North State St. in North Vernon. “My husband had a cold, so I went to get Nyquil,” said Lockhard. In the store, she made a spur-of-the-moment decisionto buy an Emerald 7s Scratch-off ticket that ended up being a $77,777 top-prize winner.  As she claimed her winnings at Hoosier Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis Jan. 25, Lockhard explained that the number “7” is significant to her family. In November, her family of four grew to seven when she and her husband took in three foster children. “This timing is just unreal,” said Lockhard. She is the first lucky winner to claim a top prize on the Jewel 7s game.
The Jewel 7s game was also lucky for Linda Thompson of Hartford Citywho purchased a $77,777 winning Diamond 7s ticket at Main Street Market at 1711 N. Walnut in Hartford City. When she claimed her winnings at Hoosier Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis Feb. 2, Thompson talked about the experience of seeing a $77,777 prize appear on her ticket. “First I shook, then I cried,” said Thompson. “I’m going to put it in the bank, but first I’m going to buy a new couch.  I’m going to go do it.”  Three top prizes are unclaimed on the Jewel 7s game at this time.