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Lake Park couple win Gopher 5 jackpot worth over $1 million

Gary and Sherry Villiard of Lake Park.

Gary Villiard of Lake Park was singing "happy birthday to me," all day today.

Today is his birthday, and yesterday he and his wife, Sherry, won more than $1 million in a Gopher 5 state lottery jackpot.

The excitement started Wednesday while Sherry was running errands in Detroit Lakes.

She decided to stop at the Holiday convenience store, located at 233 E. Frazee St., to pick up $10 in Gopher 5 tickets for that night's drawing.

On her way home, she debated whether to get another $5 in tickets, since the jackpot was so high, but decided against it.

"I thought, 'if I'm meant to win -- a $10 ticket is going to do it!'"

Sure enough, it did. After checking her tickets later that evening, she discovered the third line matched the winning numbers of 9-17-19-40-46 to win the $1,074,739 jackpot.

"I was shaking by the third number," she recalled. When the last two numbers matched, "that's when I started screaming," and immediately ran outside to tell Gary the good news.

After a sleepless night, the Villiards decided to start their trip to Roseville early this morning.. "I can't stop shaking," Sherry said as they arrived to claim their prize. "This all seems so unreal."

Gary felt the same way, saying, "it's just something that you never expect to happen -- it's certainly a birthday that we'll never forget."