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updated: 11/20/2013 2:21 PM

Wood Dale firefighter wins $1 million jackpot

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  • Wood Dale firefighter Michael Thomson displays his winning $1 million raffle ticket.

      Wood Dale firefighter Michael Thomson displays his winning $1 million raffle ticket.
    Courtesy of the Illinois Lottery

 
 

A Wood Dale firefighter recently struck lottery pay dirt when he won $1 million playing Halloween Millionaire Raffle.

Michael Thomson bought the winning raffle ticket on Sept. 28 at WD Tobacco, 355 Georgetown Square, in Wood Dale during a lunch break with a few co-workers, according to Illinois Lottery officials. His victory was announced Wednesday.

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"We each bought a ticket," Thomson said in a statement. "I never thought I would be the lucky one."

The Palatine resident learned about his good fortune several days after the Nov. 1 drawing because word had gotten out that WD Tobacco had sold a winning ticket.

Thomson said he was at the firehouse when he called his girlfriend and asked her to verify the winning raffle number 40229.

"When she read the winning numbers to me I couldn't stop staring at my ticket," said Thomson, adding that his co-workers cheered when they found out.

Thomson, who has been with the Wood Dale Fire Protection since 2002, isn't expected to quit his job as a firefighter-paramedic, according to lottery officials.

After taxes, Thomson received a lump sum of $700,000. He said he's going buy a new house "with a huge backyard" for his dog Ariel, who is a 100-pound English mastiff.

"We currently live in a condo and she is still growing," he said.

Thomson also plans to do some investing.

Lottery officials said WD Tobacco will get $10,000, or 1 percent of the prize amount, for selling the winning ticket.

Halloween Millionaire Raffle was played like a typical raffle game, officials said. Each $20 ticket contained a unique number automatically generated by the lottery terminal.

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