Elgin resident James Abner won an instant lottery worth hundreds of thousands of dollars on Christmas morning.
Abner scratched a Cash For Life instant ticket worth $500 a week for life, and opted for the one-time cash option of $380,000. Abner gets a lump sum of $266,000 after 25 percent goes to federal taxes, and 5 percent goes to state taxes, said Illinois Lottery spokeswoman Micaela Small.
The Abner family had a long-standing Christmas morning tradition of giving each other instant lottery tickets and scratching them over coffee, a news release said. The winning ticket was a gift from one of Abner's sons.
"Suddenly we were all cheering and passing my ticket around," Abner was quoted as saying in the news release.
"It's one of the best Christmas gifts ever -- we'll be debt-free because of this lottery win."
Abner, a truck driver, plans to pay off debt while saving some of the windfall for retirement, the release said.
The winning ticket was purchased at 7-Eleven at 1024 S. McLean Blvd. in Elgin. The store received a $3,800 bonus, 1 percent of the prize amount.