Free drinks and discounted gasoline prices were successful promotions, and now the coup de grace ... the North Side gas station can claim a $1 million scratch-off lottery winner.
According to an Indiana Lottery Commission press release, Michael Comer of Greencastle, has won $1 million on a Hoosier Lottery scratch-off.
He claimed his $1 million prize by purchasing an "$80 Million Cash Spectacular" ticket for $10 at the Phillips 66 (formerly the Greencastle Mini-Mart) at 701 N. Jackson St. It is one of just eight overall $1 million prizes that current scratch-off game has to offer.
Phillips 66 owner Bajwa, who actually won't get even a penny for selling the big ticket at his station, was nonetheless thrilled with the notoriety.
"I'm so excited for the people," he said Friday as the story was told and retold each time new patrons entered the convenience store.
Bajwa said his stations have sold several winners before, some for as much as $5,000 or $10,000, but never the top prize in a scratch-off game
Amazingly, the Lottery Commission confirmed that just a couple of weeks ago, Comer was actually a $10,000 winner on a ticket for another scratch-off game he bought at the Marathon station.
Phillips 66 cashier Tiana Patterson, who is still uncertain whether she or Stephanie Nelson sold the winning ticket, is nonetheless "glad somebody from Greencastle hit it big."
"I'm just happy it's somebody who comes in here that we wait on all the time," she added.
Greencastle resident Bonnie Hanlon was in line Friday morning getting a drink when she mused about her own fateful decision last Wednesday.
"I bought a Powerball ticket that day but I almost bought a scratch-off," she said, knowing she'll now wonder forever if the ticket she might have bought was the big winner.
"Tiana," Hanlon called out, "why didn't you make me buy a scratch-off!"
Later Friday morning Comer was actually at the nearby North Jackson Street Marathon station Bajwa also owns but declined to have his picture taken or to make any comment about the prize money.
However, earlier Comer told the Lottery Commission that the $1 million ticket won't change anything about him.
"I scratched the ticket, realized I won, put the ticket above the sun visor of my truck and went to work," he was quoted as saying in a Lottery Commission press release. "I mean, I'm happy, but I'm the same as I was before."
Comer made the trip to Hoosier Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis to claim his prize Wednesday, officials said. Sticking to his plan to continue living life as he has, the Greencastle man identified only two things that he wants to buy.
"I'm going to get a truck and another coon dog," he said. "And, it won't be a new truck -- just a different one that's in a little better shape than the one I've got."