David Partain was in the parking lot of the Eagle Travel Center in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, when he scratched off the lottery ticket on the hood of his long-haul truck.
A few moments later, he became a multimillionaire.
The ticket he scratched was the third ticket in a string of wins for Partain playing Mega Millionaire Jumbo Bucks, a game with overall odds of 1:2.91.
He had already won $25 on the game earlier and used that $25 for another ticket, winning a free ticket.
The numbers on the free ticket he scratched Sunday revealed the $2 million top prize.
“I saw it, but I didn’t believe it. I went numb,” said Partain, a 30-year and third-generation truck driver out of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
He then called his wife, telling her, “I hit it.”
“She thought I’d wrecked the truck,” he said.
Partain’s ticket is the 309th ticket sold worth $1 million or more since the Tennessee Lottery began on Jan. 20, 2004. His plans for the winnings include buying his wife a house, paying off the loan on his truck and possibly getting a car for his 16-year-old daughter.
“It’s just something I enjoy doing,” he said of the lottery’s instant games. “I just play to have fun.”
Other truck-driving lottery winners
Pertain’s prize is less than 1% of the total another truck driver won in 2019. New Yorker David Johnson, a truck driver for Iberia Foods, won the state’s $298.3 million Powerball jackpot in December 2018, taking home $114 million after taxes.
Johnson had bought the winning ticket at the gas station across the street from Iberia.
“I went to the store and gave the ticket to the clerk to check,” Johnson said. “He scanned it and said, ‘Congratulations.’ I needed to see it for myself, so I scanned and saw it read BIG WINNER.”
Another truck driver, Mark Clark of South Rockwood, Michigan, won $4 million in the Michigan Lottery’s Millionaire’s Club instant game in December 2017.
Then, more than three years later, Clark — who had since retired from truck driving — won another $4 million, this time playing the $150,000,000 Payout game.
“You don’t think you’ll win millions once, and you definitely never think it would happen twice,” Clark said after the news was announced in June 2020.
“I scratched the ticket off in the store with a coin my dad gave me about 10 years ago. We lost him about a year ago after some health struggles, and I can’t help but think maybe that lucky coin helped me win this.”