“Don’t you play the lottery? You can’t win if you don’t play,” said the happy winner of $50,000.


“Don’t you play the lottery? You can’t win if you don’t play,” said the happy winner of $50,000.

John Keenan purchased his winning lottery ticket from Weaver’s Super Saver on Enos Road on Dec. 6, paying $1 for the ticket and an extra buck for the Oklahoma Lottery Power Play. The Buncombe Creek resident let the winning lottery ticket sit around for four days before he even remembered to check it.

“I was sitting in front of my computer. It was a ticket from Saturday night,” he said. “ So I checked it and I thought I’d won $500. So I went to Weaver’s and thought, what am I going to spend $500 on?”

Still convinced that he’d only won $500, Keenan was disappointed when he learned he had to travel to Oklahoma City to pick up his prize, which is generally available on the spot for amounts under $600.

“This little girl who worked at the store said ‘you didn’t win $500, you won $50,000,’” he said. “You know I didn’t believe it until she gave me my ticket.”

Keenan wasted little time once the stakes went up, driving to Oklahoma City the following day to collect his prize money. The winning ticket hit four numbers in the lottery game. Four winning numbers generally pay $10,000, but since he also bought the Power Play option, he won $50,000.

After taking home the winnings, Keenan knew exactly where the money was going, he said.
“I don’t have a house payment and I don’t have a kid in college,” said the father of six and grandfather of 11 children. “I went and collected my ticket then went home and paid off my truck and stuck the rest of the money in the bank.”

Keenan has played the lottery since October 2005, when it first began in Oklahoma. But he has played the lottery in Texas since 1989, about five years after Keenan retired from the Air force. Keenan has also worked in management as a government contractor until 2002.

“My wife used to tell me all the time, ‘that’s dumb. You’re never going to win.’ But a couple Saturdays ago, I won big time. She doesn’t question my playing the lottery anymore,” he said.
Despite his good fortune, Keenan acknowledges the high odds against any lottery player.

“The odds are astronomical. Someone said you have a better chance of dropping a nickel from a 10-story building right into a shot glass,” he joked. “Of course, I’ll probably never win another thing in my life, but that’s all right. But then again I might. I was one number away from winning $51 million.”

Keith Howard, 221-6542