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Jingle Bells grand prize awarded

Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Katie Magozzi, left, congratulates Jingle Bells $1,000 winner Annette Reichling and her son Lane, while treasurer Bob Seifert presents checks to her and to the $5,000 winners Lillian and William Ryther, right. (Riham Feshir / Enterprise)

William and Lillian Ryther of Park Rapids didn't want to get their hopes up when they found out they had the second winning $5,000 Jingle Bells ticket.

Lillian said she didn't want to be disappointed in case the first ticket was claimed by the Jan. 8 deadline.

But it wasn't.

The couple waited "three long weeks to see if the first number would show up."

"I knew that my bubble could be burst at any minute," Lillian said.

The Rythers are part of the All Veterans Memorial, an organization that'll receive a chunk of the $5,000 grand prize.

The rest will be divided among church donations, bills and maybe a relaxing getaway.

"We might go on a vacation to Detroit Lakes and eat," William said jokingly.

They thank their hunter friends who came up during hunting season and shopped at L&M Fleet then gave them some of their Jingle Bells tickets.

The Rythers are not sure who the ticket belongs to but they said it might have been one of the hunters.

The fourth $1,000 prize was also claimed by the second winning ticket because the first number never showed up Jan. 8.

Park Rapids resident Annette Reichling and her family also waited to see if the first ticket holder would come forward, secretly hoping that they wouldn't.

"Not to be mean, but yeah," she said.

The Reichlings are still unsure of how the money will be spent, but a family vacation close to home seems to be ideal right now.