Thursday, in front of the “Big Wheel”, Jay Kassebaum was still not sure that his wife thought they had won an Idaho lottery game.
“I said to the woman, ‘OK, we have to go to Boise because we just won a Big Spin,’ Kassebaum recounted Thursday shortly before taking her turn on the wheel to see what her total prize would be. “We have to spin the Ferris wheel. And honestly, we’re standing here in front, and I don’t think she believes me yet.”
A resident of Cocolalla, Kassebaum took home $50,000, as did a duo from Boise who also attempted a winning Big Spin on Thursday. Like Kassebaum, Christopher Long and Crystal Booker took home $50,000 in prize money.
Kassebaum had chosen the scratch game because it was new and looked interesting. His wife likes to spin the games during their occasional visits to the casino and he thought it would be fun.
It took a few weeks after buying the ticket to go to the store to see if they could tell them what they had won. They were busy and it wasn’t a priority.
“You don’t really think, ‘Oh, I have to go check this out, I won, you know,” Kassebaum said. “You certainly don’t think ‘We could have won big.’ You know, I really didn’t think it was just like, ‘Yeah, okay, let’s check the ticket.'”
Like the Kassebaums, store employees also didn’t know what they had won and told them they had to contact the lottery office. So while his wife was in the store on a recent trip to Coeur d’Alene to run errands, Jay Kassebaum called the lottery office
A retired Air Force veteran, Kassebaum knew he had a winning ticket shortly after the Idaho Lottery’s first Big Spin winner – Lonnie Dahl of Priest River – won a lot of silver on August 2.
Due to some previously arranged travel commitments, Kassebaum arranged his Big Spin date in Boise on his return trip from the southern United States, stopping on the way back to pick up his $50,000 winnings at the wheel. BigSpin.
“We really took the scenic route to get here,” Kassebaum told Idaho Lottery officials after traveling nearly 4,000 miles across three time zones to make his Big Spin appearance in Boise.
Kassebaum said the couple had no plans for the money.
“My wife keeps telling me you can’t count your chickens until they hatch and I keep telling her that ‘OK, well, we’ll find out how many eggs we can buy so I could start counting chickens. I told him I guess we’re buying eggs,” Kassebaum joked before seriously adding. “No, we really don’t have any plans at the moment.”
For the day’s other lucky Big Spin winners, their $50,000 journey started with a desire to go out for breakfast. After texting several friends and family members, Christopher Long had no takers. However, his brother eventually replied that his girlfriend, Crystal Booker, was interested in going. En route to pick her up, Long stopped at the Jacksons on Ustick and Maple Grove and purchased a collection of scratch tickets, including about 10 Big Spin tickets.
“I arrived at their house and offered Crystal her choice of ticket. She won $100 on one. Feeling lucky, we split the Big Spin tickets. My ticket won the digital round. We took it to the store to find out how much it had earned. As Crystal had already been lucky, I gave it to her to cash out. We decided in the store that we would share whatever we earned,” Long said.
After learning that they had won a Big Spin for a chance to win up to $100,000, Christopher bought a few more scratch tickets and won $500 on one of them.
The two eventually made it to breakfast.
“It was a total lucky day!” he added. “I felt like I was still dreaming and hadn’t woken up yet.”
Kassebaum’s winning ticket was sold at the Westmond Chevron in Sagle. For selling the winning ticket, Westmond receives an Idaho Lottery bonus of $5,000.
The Big Spin went on sale in mid-July and is already over half sold. Idaho lottery officials said there are three winning Big Spin event tickets left in the game.