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Published: Friday, 10/14/2005

Hunch pays off as Elmore man rings up $250,000 lottery prize

ELMORE - An Elmore man who "just had an inkling" that he should start playing the Mega Millions lottery won $250,000 this week.

John L. Klickman, 39, who owns Mobius Sorting Inspection Services in Perrysburg Township, matched five numbers in Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing and filed his claim at the Ohio Lottery Commission's regional office in Toledo Wednesday afternoon.

"I just had a feeling I was going to hit something big," he said. "I'd never played the Mega Millions before four months ago. I think it's more fate than luck."

He said he spent $100 a week playing the lottery for four months using the auto lotto feature before it finally paid off.

"I'll pay off some debt and give some to my church and my family," he said.

The winning numbers were 24, 30, 42, 53, and 54. The Mega Ball was 6.

After mandatory federal and state tax withholdings totaling 28.5 percent, Mr. Klickman will receive $178,750.

He purchased his ticket at Tina's Country Market, 3100 State Rt. 51 in Elmore. The market will receive a $1,000 bonus for selling a winning ticket.

Ryan Thorbahn, who works at the market, said Mr. Klickman is a regular customer who has become his friend. He said he thought Mr. Klickman was joking when he called to tell him that he won some cash.

"I thought he was pulling my leg. Then I thought about it for awhile and I called him back to ask if he was lying, but he was telling the truth," he said.

"Anytime anybody wins that amount of money, I'm happy for them, especially with the price of gas," Mr. Thorbahn said.

Mr. Klickman said he plans to continue playing the lottery because "I think I can hit the big one."

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