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Glendive, Mont., man wins big, flies to Helena, Mont., to collect $150K jackpot

Photo Courtesy of Montana Lottery

After playing the lottery twice a week for almost six years, a Glendive, Mont., man is $150,000 richer thanks to a ticket he bought at his local Albertsons, officials announced Friday.

"We're still dreaming," Raymond Novotny said. "I keep pinching myself and looking at them papers and they're still there. They haven't disappeared."

Novotny flew to the state lottery headquarters in Helena, Mont., Friday to claim his winnings after checking his Montana Cash ticket at the grocery store Thursday morning, according to the release.

"He was kind of stumped at the beginning when I walked up here," Albertsons manager Joann Hoesel said. "He said, 'Really, are you sure?'"

The Wednesday jackpot was the highest jackpot since Jan. 14, Montana Lottery officials said.

Novotny purchased the winning numbers at the store where he goes every morning, Hoesel said. He is a longtime lottery player, according to the release. His biggest win before the drawing Wednesday was $200.

The lucky winner said he wasn't going to buy a ticket Wednesday, but he is glad he didn't break his buying streak.

Albertsons hasn't sold a winning ticket for that much money, but Novotny deserved to win, Hoesel added.

"We always called him lucky," she said. "He's an awesome guy."

It was a relief to win, Novotny's wife Marge said.

"We really needed something," she said. "Everything is getting so high and all we got coming in is our Social Security, so it keeps going down, down, down."

Raymond said the plane ride was a long one and he was excited get back home to show his wife the check. He plans to put it in the bank until he decides what to do with it.

"It's a miracle, though I got to say I've been on my knees quite a bit thanking the Lord above because he had something to do with it, I'm sure," he added.