A Gig Harbor QFC shopper won the lottery, but thanks to free cake everyone is a winner.
The Washington State Lottery served up cake and played games for prizes with shoppers at QFC, 5010 Point Fosdick Drive NW. The store sold a ticket worth $8.7 million on Feb. 22. The winner is remaining anonymous.
According to a news release, the winner told lottery officials she and her husband had saved up $100 in coins and purchased lotto tickets. The big winner was redeemed at the Federal Way office on Feb. 25. She said she and her husband would use the money to help family, purchase a house and take a hunting trip, according to the release.
"(It's) the biggest we've had in this region for quite some time," Ronald Smerer, the lottery's regional manager, said.
It is the biggest win in Washington State this year, he said. Smerer manages the Federal Way Region, which incorporates all of Seattle and stretches south through Olympia and Aberdeen. He said the region makes up about 47 percent of the lottery's business.
"It's huge, especially an $8.7 million," Terri Killion, corporate account manager for the lottery, said. Killion manages the larger corporate accounts, which includes QFC locations and other grocery stores. Killion was serving cake to curious shoppers on Friday. The cake featured a replica of the winning ticket, right down to the numbers that were played.
"It's good for people in the community to see people do win," she said.
Randy Baertschinger, the store manager, said it is exciting to have a winning ticket purchased at the store. He hoped the celebration would bring the community together.
At the QFC, the lottery held an event similar to its "Ambassador Program." It features a game that matches what players put in. A lottery partner, GTech, will match money put in by players on the machine. A representative from GTech will give $5 toward a $10 ticket, for example.
"It's just to give our players a little bonus," Smerer said.
Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter, @gateway_karen.