How To Win $3 Million? Stop Off For A Snack At A Tennessee Lottery Retailer

Posted on July 20, 2020

For one recent Tennessee Lottery winner, claiming a $3 million prize was as easy as stopping off for a snack. The man now has the enviable “problem” of deciding what to do with the money.

Apparently, nothing goes better with a candy bar and a Gatorade than a pair of scratch-off tickets. The reward may have Tennesseans trying to replicate that recipe.

The story on the newest multimillion Tennessee lottery winner

Tim Waller, who makes his home in Charlotte, NC, satisfied more than his stomach last week. Waller visited White Bluff Grocery in Dickinson County for some snack items.

Waller supplemented his purchase with two Tennessee Lottery scratch-off tickets, one of which was a Royal Jumbo Bucks game. While enjoying the candy bar and sports drink, Waller was in for a pleasant surprise.

He defied the odds and scratched off the $3 million prize. The lottery hasn’t disclosed yet whether he opted for the annuity payments or the lump sum.

Waller is somewhat of an old hand at winning large lottery prizes, however. In 2012, he also won $250,000 on a Mega Monopoly ticket. Despite his luck, Waller said he plans to continue working.

“I pulled into the job site and told the boys, ‘Well, it looks like I’m not going to have to work anymore,’” Waller said. “But I’m going to keep working.”

He picked a good time to win his latest prize, too. The lottery has further relaxed its protocols for claiming large prizes recently.

Walk-in claims for large prizes an option again

Naturally, Waller wasn’t able to claim his prize at White Bluff Grocery. Tennessee’s lottery rules only mandate that retailers have to pay claims on prizes of $600 or less.

A few months ago, Waller would have had two options for claiming his prize: mail in the winning ticket or hold on to it. The lottery had closed all of its claim centers to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Claim centers in the following areas are open again:

  • Chattanooga
  • Knoxville
  • Memphis
  • Nashville

The hours are limited from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, however, and the centers only allow one customer in the office at a time.

Winners of prizes of $200,000 or more, like Waller, must visit the claim center in Nashville. Players who win prizes between $601 and $199,999 can still either mail in their tickets or visit any of the four claim centers.

As soon as Waller collects his prize, he’ll likely spend some time deliberating about what to do with the money. What’s for certain is that his decision to stop off for a snack was one of the best choices he’s ever made.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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