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Illinois Chaplain Finds $1M Powerball Ticket in Desk

Illinois Lottery(NEW YORK) -- A retired chaplain in Illinois found a $1 million winning lottery ticket when he was cleaning his desk, two months after the winning numbers were announced.

Ron Yurcus of Glen Ellyn, Ill., said he doesn’t usually buy lottery tickets.

“Occasionally while I buy gas, if the [lottery] prize is higher, I’ll buy one or two tickets,” Yurcus, 68, said.

Yurcus, a retired hospice chaplain, said he had accumulated about 12 tickets within two months, but didn’t check to see if any were winners until a few weeks ago.

“I bought them and never really rush home and check numbers right away.  I throw them in a pile,” he said.

When he was cleaning his desk, which he called “a cluttered mess,” he sifted through his pile of tickets and was pleasantly surprised to learn he not only had a couple tickets that won $2 but a $1 million Powerball prize from the Aug. 22 drawing.

“When I went to the payoff page and saw $1 million, I wanted to scream but no one was home,” he said, adding that he checked the number about 25 times that night and asked his wife, a school secretary, to re-check the numbers once she returned home.

Yurcus used to be self-employed with a print shop in addition to serving at the hospice, before retiring on Nov. 2.

“I don’t really have a retirement package put together.  This is my retirement,” he said.  

He and his wife are also active with charitable causes.  He said he will use some winnings to support his three children and four grandchildren.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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