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Kalispell Man Claims $1 Million Lottery Ticket
Russell Miller of Kalispell claimed the $1 million Montana Millionaire grand prize
Russell Miller of Kalispell claimed the $1 million Montana Millionaire grand prize with a ticket he purchased from Mike’s Conoco in Columbia Falls, lottery officials announced Tuesday.

Miller is an occasional Lottery player who bought two Montana Millionaire tickets this year, according to the state lottery office. The first one would end up being the lucky one, but he picked up the second after he saw how fast the game was selling because he didn’t want to miss his chance to double up.

Tickets for Montana Millionaire were sold for $20 apiece and went on sale Nov. 1. All 130,000 tickets sold out for the second year in a row, by mid-day Dec. 26, according to the office. The winning numbers were announced Jan. 2.

Miller learned he won by reading the newspaper three days after the drawing and retrieved his tickets from his wallet and checked the numbers. Then, he called his wife over to double-check.

“I wanted to verify that my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me,” he said, according to lottery officials.

“I’ve been thinking about winning something more than $5 or $10 and thought in my mind over and over how I would initially handle it,” he added. “I’m pretty much following my game plan.”

According to Miller, that plan includes sharing his good fortune with those who could use a helping hand.

“We’re going to help some organizations that we’ve given to in the past,” he said. “We won’t be sitting on it.”

The Montana Lottery was created by referendum in 1986. Since then, it has paid over $465 million in prizes and returned approximately $210 million to the State of Montana.
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