J. Ned Paffile, a retired long-haul produce truck driver from Lewiston, struck something close to gold with the Idaho Lottery, claiming a $311,000 prize on the Idaho Cash game last week in Boise.
A regular Lottery player, Paffile had the clerk at Albertsons on 21st Street in Lewiston check his Idaho Cash tickets for him, according to a news release from the Idaho Lottery. The clerk told him the prize from the March 21 draw was too big to pay in Lewiston, so he'd have to go to Boise to claim the ticket.
"I asked her, how big? She said, 'really big,' " Paffile reportedly said on learning he was the winner.
After checking the winning numbers with his nephew-in-law, Paffile realized he was the $311,000 jackpot winner.
"That's a lot," he was quoted as saying in the news release. "I don't know what I'd do if I won $5, let alone this."
Paffile, described as a longtime member of the Lewiston community, worked on his family's produce farm and trucking business before retiring. A fan of old Western movies, he said he plans to use his winnings to make retirement a little easier, fix his house and maybe purchase an old-fashioned, lever-action rifle.
Idaho Lottery games include Powerball, Mega Millions, Scratch Games and PullTabs, which help fund public schools and the permanent building fund. It has sold more than $4.2 billion in products, awarded more than $2.6 billion in prizes to players, returned $249 million in retail commissions and distributed $961.5 million in dividends to Idaho public schools and buildings since 1989.