Statement issued Friday by the Hoosier Lottery:
INDIANAPOLIS -- Lifelong Fort Wayne residents Jack and Debra Woodruff are the latest Hoosiers to win $1 million from the Hoosier Lottery. The couple matched the first five numbers, but not the Megaball, in the July 1 Mega Millions drawing.
When the Woodruffs presented their Mega Millions ticket to Lottery officials in Indianapolis July 21, they thought it was worth $250,000 -- and they were over the moon about that! The couple was stunned when Lottery officials informed them their ticket was worth $1 million. The couple was unaware that Debra had increased their winnings from $250,000 to $1 million by adding the Megaplier for an extra dollar.
Jack Woodruff was speechless and Debra fought back tears as the magnitude of their win set in.
"I'm numb," said Debra Woodruff. "It's almost surreal, like you're watching someone else's life."
For Jack Woodruff, winning $1 million means one thing: freedom. Jack is a 28-year veteran of the Fort Wayne Police Department. Debra is an investigator for Adult Protective Services. Both already had retirement in their sights. With a chunk of change in the bank, they have some decisions to make regarding exactly how much longer they want to keep working.
"The freedom is the best thing," said Jack Woodruff.
Before they make any rash decisions, the couple plans to take a cruise and sort some things out.
"We love our life. We have a good life," said Jack Woodruff. "We have been fortunate in a lot of ways. We have a great family."
The couple is excited about the prospect of using their fortune to spend more time with their four grown children and three grandchildren.
"I don't know why this happened, but I'm glad it did," said Debra Woodruff.
The Woodruffs purchased their winning ticket at Thornton's at 12001 North U.S. Hwy 31 in Edinburgh while on vacation in Southern Indiana.
As with all Hoosier Lottery games, the net income generated from Indiana sales of Mega Millions is turned over to the state. Last year, the Hoosier Lottery transferred $190 million to the state where it was allocated to teachers, police and firefighters retirement funds as well as the Build Indiana Fund which ultimately reduces Hoosiers' license plate costs.
Players have 180 days to claim prizes on Hoosier Lottery draw games. The Hoosier Lottery reminds players to always play responsibly.