Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013
Du Quoin Man Wins $4 Million in Lottery
PERRY COUNTY -- Du Quoin is now home to a new multi-millionaire. A local business owner got a big surprise from the Illinois Lottery last week, and it's money he plans to put to good use in the family's store.
This prize is the second time Bob Bytnar has won the lottery. This winning is worth millions of dollars more.
Monday morning, lottery officials were at the Farm Fresh Store in Du Quoin to present the check. Bytnar purchased the lottery ticket there last week.
He was sitting at his kitchen table on Tuesday when he scratched off the Gold Bullion ticket. He found himself the winner of $4 million.
"The first thing I thought was well I looked at that number wrong," said Bytnar. "So I put my glasses on so I could see it."
The ticket wasn't lying. Bytnar was excited to share the news with his family.
"I thought he was playing a joke on me," said Bytnar's daughter, Bobbi Smith. "Because that's just the type of person my dad is."
In the days following the big surprise, the 65-year-old hasn't made any major purchases or life changes. That is, except for one.
He retired from his midnight shift at General Dynamics on Friday. He now plans to spend his time at the family-owned ice cream and fudge shop, The Ye Olde Country Store, in Downtown Du Quoin.
"That's not a job, that's fun," said Bytnar. "The kids, meeting the people, it's fantastic."
The winnings are also a blessing for Bytnar's daughter and granddaughter. They have been praying for six months for him to have the chance to leave his job.
"It was a real simple prayer request," said Smith. "That God would provide the means that he could retire."
The family opened the business in 2008. Yhe store was a dream of Bytnar's wife, Gayle, who died of cancer three years ago.
"She asked me to promise her not to let that shop close," said Smith.
The new fortune will go a long way in securing that promise.
"The ice cream shop is here forever now," said Bytnar. "It's not going anywhere."
Bytnar first won $100,000 in the lottery four years ago. That money was used to pay for his wife's medical bills.
The Farm Fresh Store that sold this ticket has also received $40,000.
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