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updated: 7/30/2013 7:46 PM

Hoffman Estates woman wins $1,000 a week for 20 years

Hoffman Estates woman hits the jackpot

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  • Hoffman Estates resident Lilia Martinez picks up her "check" for $1,040,000 in a ceremony Tuesday at the Jewel on Roselle Road in Hoffman Estates. In fact, she's being paid in 20 annual installments. She won the money at that same Jewel in an instant lottery game.

      Hoffman Estates resident Lilia Martinez picks up her "check" for $1,040,000 in a ceremony Tuesday at the Jewel on Roselle Road in Hoffman Estates. In fact, she's being paid in 20 annual installments. She won the money at that same Jewel in an instant lottery game.
    Courtesy of Illinois Lottery

 
By Reema Amin
ramin@dailyherald.com

"Huh?"

That's what Hoffman Estates resident Jose Martinez said when his wife, Lilia, called to say she won $1,000 a week for the next 20 years. That's a total of $1,040,000.

"She won the check the Saturday before Father's Day, and we picked it up the following Monday. I didn't believe her until that Monday," Jose Martinez, 53, said.

The couple went to Jewel, 1069 N. Roselle Road, Tuesday morning to receive a memento of their winnings: an oversized check for the $1 million.

Lilia Martinez, 52, went grocery shopping with her sisters to that same Jewel on June 15. She decided to get "The Good Life" instant lottery ticket for $1 -- a game she'd never bought before.

She scratched off the prize winner as she pulled out another dollar bill to get a second ticket before she saw that she'd won.

"At first I thought it was only $1,000," said Lilia Martinez, laughing.

Though the prize is described as a weekly installment for 20 years, Jose Martinez said they will get an annual, lump-sum check. After taxes, their first check was for $36,400.

Jewel will get $10,400, 1 percent of the winnings, according to a news release from Illinois Lottery.

Lilia Martinez doesn't work outside the home but said she wants to establish a good retirement fund that the couple can live on once her husband retires. Jose Martinez is the food and beverage director at a hotel in Schaumburg, but he said he's cutting his daily job down to three days a week.

The couple now expect to pay off their home loans in a few years, versus the 12 years they had left, Jose Martinez said.

They'll also pay off their sons' student loans. Their older son, Eric, is considering a master's degree, his father said, so the money will help cover that, too.

Jose Martinez said he had some different ideas for how they could spend the money, but he respects his wife's decision to pay off their bills first.

"She's the boss," he said.

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