2019 is off to a great start for the thousands of Minnesota Millionaire Raffle winners who won prizes on Jan. 1!

Andy Gibbons holding his million dollar check.

Imagine waking up on New Year’s Day and discovering that you have won $1 million. That is how the new year began for Ely resident Andy Gibbons. After double checking his Minnesota Millionaire Raffle ticket “eight times” to make sure that he was not mistaken, he did something many brand new millionaires would not; Gibbons went to work. “After I realized I had won, I actually had work to do so I went to work. I work at a camp and there was some cleaning that needed to be done. I went to work and cleaned some lodges,” he said.

“It didn’t really sink in until about 9 a.m.,” he said. “I wasn’t really sure until I heard it through Facebook that the winner was from Ely.” Gibbons finally took time off work to claim the $1 million prize on Jan. 3. 

Voyageur Short Stop, located at 1815 E. Sheridan St. in Ely, sold Gibbons’ winning ticket.

Deb Meyer holding her million dollar check.

When Deb Meyer’s husband goes deer hunting every year, he always brings her back a Minnesota Millionaire Raffle ticket. Last year was no exception—he picked up a Raffle ticket at Superpumper Inc., located at 1749 University Ave., in Crookston on Nov. 2, 2018. 

While Mr. Meyer didn’t come home with a buck in the traditional sense, the Prior Lake couple later found out that the ticket he purchased during his hunting trip was worth 1 million bucks in the New Year’s Day drawing. 

On Jan. 1, Mr. Meyer scanned the Raffle ticket at a local convenience store and received the message that the prize must be claimed at a Lottery office. Unsure of how much the ticket was worth, he grabbed a paper to check the winning numbers.  

“When he got home he said, ‘I think we’ll get to pay off the house this year,’” recalled Deb. “I thought, ‘What happened between here and Kwik Trip?’”  

Deb claimed her prize at Lottery headquarters in Roseville on Jan. 4. “Pinch me – I still can’t believe it’s real,” she said with a smile. 

Gregg Malik holding his one hundred thousand dollar check.

Corcoran resident Gregg Malik won $100,000. Malik discovered his win the morning of Jan. 1. “I checked a ticket and it was 37 or 38 numbers off from winning $100,000.” After a bit of grumbling, he checked his next ticket and all six digits matched to win one of the five $100,000 prizes. “I almost fell on the floor,” he said. 

Maple Square Fuel & Wash, located at 13400 Grove Drive in Maple Grove, sold the winning ticket.

Jeffrey and Debbie Swenson holding their one hundred thousand dollar check.

Jeffrey Swenson of Forest Lake also won a $100,000 by playing Minnesota Millionaire Raffle. Swenson said, “I about died,” when he noticed that one of his Raffle tickets matched the winning number 385332 to win one of five $100,000 prizes on New Year’s Day. “We kept looking at it over and over,” added his wife Debbie. 

The couple arrived at Lottery headquarters in Roseville on Jan. 2 to claim the prize. Debbie said the win will help her to retire one year earlier than she had initially planned. “It’s a great way to start the New Year, that’s for sure,” said Jeffrey. 

The Swenson’s purchased their winning ticket at Forest Lake Moto Mart, located at 1898 S. Lake St. in Forest Lake.

Paul H. holding his ten thousand dollar check.

Congrats to Paul H. on his $10,000 win!