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Crook wins lottery, gets a 'free ride'

| November 19, 2010 8:00 PM

SANDPOINT - Six-year Sandpoint resident Jason Crook had been playing the Idaho Lottery's Free Ride Scratch Game regularly for a year since it debuted in the fall of 2009.

"It's been my favorite game since it came out," said Crook, who purchased the Free Ride big winner at Waterfront Express in Sandpoint. "I was shocked and surprised to see the words 'Free Ride' show up on the ticket. The most I'd won up to that point was $100."

Crook said he started playing the game partly because he really needed a new car. The game allows players who win to purchase a vehicle of their choosing up to $40,000 in value from a participating Idaho auto dealership. There were five top prizes in this game, four instantly and one through a second chance draw. On Tuesday, Crook became the game's fourth and final instant winner.

With his winnings, Crook purchased a new 2011 GMC Sierra pickup truck from Alpine Motors in Ponderay. For their part in selling the winning ticket, Waterfront Express in Sandpoint receives a bonus from the Idaho Lottery worth $4,800.

As the last instant top prize available in Free Ride, this Scratch Game has now officially ended. The fifth and final top prize, a vehicle of choice up to $40,000 in value for the winner, will be determined through a second chance draw conducted by the Idaho Lottery. Players have until 11 a.m. PST on Nov. 29 to enter two, non-winning Free Ride tickets through the Idaho Lottery's website at idaholottery.com or via their tele-entry system at (208) 334-4656. Players who have already entered should make sure to keep their ticket entries available as they will need to present them for prize redemption if they are chosen as the winner.

"Entering the lottery's second chance draws has some of the best odds of winning a top prize we offer," said Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery director. "Good luck to everyone who has played this game and entered."

"I have a whole wad of tickets already entered for the second chance vehicle," added Crook. "Maybe I'll win that one, too!"

The winner of the Lottery's Free Ride second chance draw will be announced on Dec. 1.

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