A longtime Chester resident recently got a little extra bonus from the Illinois Lottery.
Tina Stewart won $50,000 in the June 7 Powerball drawing when her ticket matched four numbers, plus the Powerball number. The winning numbers were 5-21-57-66-69 and the Powerball number was 13.
"I'm so happy and grateful," Stewart said in a news release from the Illinois Lottery. "I'm going to use this money to pay off my debt."
Stewart bought her ticket at Belleville Quick Stop, which will receive a bonus of $500 (or 10 percent) of the prize amount for selling the winning ticket, and claimed her prize at the Illinois Lottery Prize Center in Fairview Heights.
"I play Powerball two or three times a month and I always buy a Quick Pick," she said.
When reached by phone on Friday, Stewart told the Herald Tribune that her winnings - which came on a single $2 ticket - will help pay off the mortgage and bank loans, while helping support four grandchildren who live with her.
"I'm grateful," she said. "I never dreamed I'd ever win the lottery," she said. "I don't get carried away and I don't usually play the Powerball until it gets high."
The jackpot for the June 7 drawing was $447.8 million. A single ticket matching all six numbers was sold in southern California and the winner still hasn't come forward.
Whoever it is will take home the 10th largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
In Illinois, the Multi-State Lottery Association announced June 15 that it would drop Powerball and Mega Millions games in the state at the end of June unless a state budget agreement is reached.
The state reported $99.4 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales within the 2016 fiscal year. The state retains about 40 percent of that money for education funding.
"It doesn't surprise me none," Stewart said of the Multi-State Lottery's decision. "Illinois's been going broke for a long time and there's a lot of crookedness going on."
Stewart said she researched the issue and was informed that smaller lottery amounts may still be paid out if there's no budget agreement, but larger jackpots may be in limbo.
"If I would have won $400 million then I'd have to worry," she said.