This week a retired Chaplain at a hospice in Illinois was cleaning out his desk and found a $1 million dollar winning ticket. The ticket was two months old. The chaplain Ron Yurcus of Glen Ellyn Illinois said that he doesn’t usually buy lottery tickets. Yurcus told reporters “Occasionally while I buy gas, if the [lottery] prize is higher, I’ll buy one or two tickets.” Yurcus, a retired hospice chaplain said he had accumulated about 12 lottery tickets during the last two months but didn’t check the numbers until a few weeks ago. Yurcus said “I bought them and never really rush home and check numbers right away. I throw them in a pile.”
While cleaning his desk, which he described as a “cluttered mess” he went through the pile of lottery tickets and was surprised to find that he had a couple of tickets that won $2 but was astounded when he found that one of the tickets had won a Powerball prize of $1 million. Yurcus stated “When I went to the payoff page and saw $1 million, I wanted to scream but no one was home.” He said he checked the numbers about 25 times that evening and asked his wife who is a school secretary to check the numbers to make sure he was right.
In addition to serving as chaplain at a hospice Yurcus was self-employed with a print shop and retired November 2nd. Yurcus said “I don’t really have a retirement package put together. This is my retirement.” Yurcus and his wife are involved in several charities and he said he plans to use part of his winnings to support his three children and four grandchildren. Yurcus said he wanted to be a priest when he was younger and hopes to continue as a chaplain. Yurcus is a permanent deacon in his Catholic Church and can marry and baptize people but can’t hear confessions.
When reporters asked Yurcus if he would continue to purchase lottery tickets he said he does not promote it. Yurcus stated “Being in ministry, it saddens me seeing people spending large amounts of money on things they can’t afford” and cautions people to “use the lottery wisely.” Yurcus added “It’s a fun thing but the odds are against you. This is so surreal. That’s why people tell me they have never met anyone who has won $1 million.”