‘Wait a minute.’ Northern Kentucky man paid $5, then scratched off a big lottery win

Kenton County resident James Bray didn’t expect to scratch off a five-figure Kentucky Lottery win, but that’s exactly what happened recently when he won $75,000 — the top prize for the $5 Cash Eruption game.

Bray, from Independence, stopped at a local Marathon station May 2 and bought five scratch-off tickets for $5 each. He later scratched off the tickets at home. When he uncovered three bell symbols, Bray knew he’d won something, though he didn’t know how much.

“I scratched it off and it said $75,000. I was like, ‘wait a minute,’” Bray said, according to a Monday Kentucky Lottery news release.

The win sent his mind reeling.

“Holy crap, now I’ve got to think about how I’m going to do this,” Bray said.

The next day, Bray claimed his winnings at Kentucky Lottery headquarters in Louisville, a requirement for prizes larger than $5,000. After taxes, he took home a check worth $54,000.

A Northern Kentucky man won big earlier this month with this Kentucky Lottery ticket.
A Northern Kentucky man won big earlier this month with this Kentucky Lottery ticket.

The overall odds of winning any prize playing the Cash Eruption scratch-off game are 1 in 3.63. Bray took the game’s top prize, and as of May 29, there are 653 prizes remaining for the second-largest prize of $500.

Bray isn’t the only Northern Kentucky player who recently took home a big lottery win. In March, one man in Carroll County who played a scratch-off game took home $1.5 million after taxes. In January, a Powerball ticket worth $1 million sold in Boone County.

Bray plans to save most of his winnings and buy a few things for his home. Otherwise, “Now that I have it, I’m still going to act like I don’t have it,” he said.

The Marathon station on Richardson Road in Independence will also receive $750 for selling the winning ticket.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. Call the National Problem Gambling helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER.

Do you have a question about the lottery in Kentucky for our service journalism team? We’d like to hear from you. Fill out our Know Your Kentucky form or email ask@herald-leader.com.