Blake and Rachel Ruder of Hays only bought two tickets in the 2018 Holiday Millionaire Raffle and one of them was worth $50,000. The couple made the trip to Topeka on Friday to claim their prize and was all smiles the whole time.

“I didn’t even want to buy the ticket that was the winner,” said Ruder. “My wife brought it up while we were at the store, and I said we could wait until the weekend, but she persisted. I’m glad I listened to her.” The winning ticket number Ruder was glad they purchased was 091787.

“We were at home last night, watching 'Deal or No Deal,' and they had a case with $1 million dollars in it that reminded me of our raffle tickets,” Ruder said. “I asked Rachel if she had checked our tickets yet and she hadn’t, so I pulled out my phone and went to the website. I couldn’t believe it when I saw what we had won.”

The couple was skeptical of their good fortune at first, so they went out to a convenience store to verify their win.

“It was so funny, the kid that was working at the store had obviously never had a big winner before,” said Ruder. “When he scanned the ticket, it made the winner noise and printed off the claim form. He was almost as excited as we were.” 

The couple says they plan on doing some renovations to their house with the winnings.

“The kitchen could use an upgrade. After that I bet we’ll just put the rest in savings. No need to spend it all at once,” said Ruder.

The winning ticket was sold at Cerv’s, 2701 Vine. Other Holiday Millionaire Raffle winners have 365 days from January 3 to claim their prizes.