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Bemidji man claims $550,000 winning lottery ticket

Michael Shelton of Bemidji claimed his nearly $550,000 Minnesota Lottery prize on Thursday. Submitted photo.

ROSEVILLE, Minn. -- Instead of digging holes for a new fence, Michael Shelton spent Thursday on an “unbelievable” road trip.

The Bemidji man claimed his nearly $550,000 lottery win Thursday at the Minnesota Lottery headquarters in Roseville, a Twin Cities suburb north of St. Paul and a 3½-hour drive from home.  

Shelton purchased his winning Gopher 5 ticket of $549,633 at the Orton’s Bemidji Cenex, located at 555 Paul Bunyan Drive NW, according to a release Thursday from the Minnesota Lottery. Orton’s Bemidji Cenex now receives a $5,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. Shelton’s winning numbers, drawn Wednesday evening, were 15-22-23-27-31.

On Thursday morning, an employee at Orton’s told Shelton of his win, and he told lottery officials that instead of working on a fence, he decided to drive straight to Roseville to claim the prize.

Also, the Triangle Store in Nisswa sold a Northstar Cash ticket worth $30,000, the release said. The business will receive $300 when the winning ticket is claimed. The winning ticket matched all of the Northstar Cash numbers drawn Wednesday, Aug. 8 (9-14-19-21-31).

Lottery players in Minnesota have one year from the drawing date to claim prizes. Winners should call (651) 635-8273 (select option 2) to make arrangements to claim their prize.

To date, Minnesotans have won more than $7.3 billion from the Minnesota Lottery.