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Dennis Dubois poses with his $50,000 check at Idaho Lottery headquarters in Boise.

Dennis Dubois knew he’d won, but not so big.

Dubois purchased an Idaho Lottery Marilyn Monroe scratch ticket at Lambs Market last Wednesday and knew he had a winner when he scratched it two hours later and revealed the winning heart symbols. Wanting a pleasant surprise, he refrained from scratching the bottom of the ticket to reveal the amount and took it to the Stinker store where clerk Tammy Andrews scanned it and told him it came back saying “claim at lottery.”

“What does that mean?” Dubois asked.

“It means it’s more money than I can pay out,” she said. Dubois scratched the amount and revealed a big $50,000 win.

“Actually, it was the coolest thing,” Andrews said. “Dennis comes in a lot and buys tickets. He definitely earned it. He buys lottery religiously.”

“I was in the back and could hear all this screaming and yelling,” Stinker Manager Jamie Davis said. Andrews “was freaking out. I thought Dennis was going to have a heart attack in the parking lot.”

Dubois was outside, pumping his fists in the air, shouting “Yeah, yeah!” and both he and Andrews were hooting and hollering, Andrews said. Jim Chamberlain heard the ruckus from the Lambs parking lot and asked Andrews about it the next day. Thus did Stinker steal the thunder and excitement from Lambs.

“It came as a big surprise,” Dubois said Monday. He’d won between $10 and $50 on previous scratch tickets, but this was his first big win. After Andrews scanned the ticket and he revealed the amount, Dubois’ first thought was “Oh, my God!”

Friends have congratulated Dubois on the winning ticket and some have joked about wanting a piece of the action, but no panhandlers have come out of the woodwork. He took the winning ticket to Idaho Lottery headquarters in Boise the next day and got his picture taken with his winning ticket. Dubois has the distinction of being the first top prize winner of the Marilyn Monroe game according to the organization’s Facebook page.

Dubois and wife Melissa haven’t decided how to spend the money, he said. Melissa’s reaction was to start calling everyone and spreading the news to family and friends. By Tuesday morning, 373 people had given him thumbs up or other icons on the Idaho Lottery Facebook page, and there were 34 comments of congratulations and 25 shares.

The $50,000 isn’t enough to retire on by any means, so Dubois is still plugging away at his construction and painting business.

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