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VIDEO: Blackduck man claims $1 million prize

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BLACKDUCK -- Jim Mattila looked once. He looked twice.

Mattlia paced around the room a bit. He looked again; he paced some more.

Indeed, he was holding a $1 million winning lottery ticket.

It’s a scenario many of has played over in our minds, but for Mattila it became a reality on Jan. 2.

Mattila had bought three New Year’s Day Minnesota Millionaire Raffle tickets at Blackduck Family Foods. As luck would have it, one of his tickets turned out to be one of two $1 million winners.

Mattila “officially” received his big payday on Friday, as Minnesota State Lottery officials traveled to Blackduck Family Foods to present Jim and his wife, Patty, with the traditional, over-sized cardboard check.

“This is awesome,” Jim said after the giant check was given to him. “Absolutely awesome.”

A small crowd of Blackduck residents formed at the grocery store for the check presentation, but only a few had questions for Jim and Patty.

“Are you going to keep living in Blackduck,” one crowd member asked.

“Absolutely,” Jim said with a laugh.

Jim said he and Patty have no immediate plans for celebration, but they do plan on buying new vehicles.

“After that is one day at a time,” Jim said. “You’ve got to be smart with the money.”

Jim and his wife were accompanied by Jenn Welch and Evan Mattila, two of their four children on Friday morning.

“I just want them to be able to retire happily,” Jenn said.

Jim said that he will continue to buy lottery tickets, and especially Minnesota Millionaire Raffle tickets. “But just three tickets every year,” Jim said. “That’s it.”

In addition to the two $1 million winners (the other was bought in Stearns County), the Minnesota Millionaire Raffle includes five $100,000 prizes, five $25,000 prizes and a 100 $500 prizes. A total of 600,000 tickets are sold in the Minnesota Millionaire Raffle, starting in mid-October and the drawing is held on New Year’s Eve.

The Stearns County $1 million winner has not yet come forward.

Lottery officials also presented a $5,000 check Friday to the owners of Blackduck Family Foods to show appreciation to them as retailers for the lottery.