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Fisherman Hooks $3 Million

Last Updated: Wednesday 25th May 2011, 13:37 pm

An 83 year old retiree who "loves to fish" has hooked himself a fortune by winning $3 million in the Illinois Lottery on March 26. James Neese bought his £5 Lotto ticket on the morning of the 26th from an Infinite Gas store, but he was far from confident about winning. In fact when his tickets emerged from the lottery terminal he told the clerk at the store that "there are no winners here."

James thought no more about his quip until he checked his numbers in his newspaper on the morning of the 27th. "I saw that I matched the first three numbers and I thought to myself, 'I won a few bucks,'" James said. "Then I realized I matched all six numbers and I couldn't believe it."

In an effort to convince himself that his good fortune really was a fact, he logged onto the Illinois Lottery website and confirmed his numbers. And then he returned to the Infinite Gas store to confirm them yet again!

Eventually the reality of his multi-million dollar win sank in, and James presented his ticket to lottery officials on Tuesday afternoon. He has said that he intends to buy a new van to tow his pontoon boot, as he has plans to do a lot more fishing. He particularly wants to go fishing in Canada.

James also wants to set up a trust fund for his daughter Roselyn. He also has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Sadly, James' wife Margaret passed away in January last year. "I only wish she were here to share this moment," James said.

Most stories about lottery winners would end about there, but this one has an intriguing twist. Joyce Bock, the lady who sold James his ticket at the Infinite Gas store, was a member of a five-player syndicate called The Thankful Five who shared a Lotto jackpot worth $2.5 million in 2002.

Is lottery luck contagious? In this corner of the world we think it might be - the Infinite Gas store also gets a $30,000 bounty for selling the winning ticket!

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