MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

December 16, 2011

Green Christmas

$10,000 winning ticket remains out there ... somewhere

Groans reverberated through the Arrowhead Mall food court as the winning Magic Holiday Giveaway ticket number was called.

The winning ticket, 474026, came from Golden Corral.

Alternates included tickets from Sav A Lot, Coach House Gifts and several other area merchants.

No big winner came forward in person Thursday night, but lots of people went away winners, nonetheless.

The first hot ticket drawing from pink tickets handed out before the big drawing gave Brandi Lane of Muskogee a guitar from John Michael’s Music.

Many more winners would be called to the front where Okie Country 101.7 radio announcer Cliff Casteel, wearing a Santa hat, helped them choose their prizes.

Each person drew a ball from a pouch — with either a dollar sign or a number on the ball.

Each number corresponded to a gift-wrapped package. Each dollar sign meant the person could jump inside the IBC Cash Machine, new this year, and collect as much money as possible in one minute.

Michael O’Keefe was one of the first few who got into the cash machine. He came out with $36.

“I was doubtful there’d be anything but 100 $1s in there, but there were a few $20s too,” O’Keefe said, fanning his bills out. “It looks pretty hard, and you got to be quick, but it was fun anyway.”

The money blew through the air around their feet. Each cash machine contestant got progressively better at stuffing money in pockets and shirts until the big winner, Alan Murphy of Muskogee, left his cowboy hat outside the machine and came away with $174.

“I just watched, and thought if I get to go I’m just going to do what the women did — stuff it down my shirt and in my pockets,” Murphy said.

Steve Pardue won the hot ticket drawing for the remainder of the machine’s cash, donated by American Bank of Oklahoma and TTCU.

Carol Bowers of Muskogee said, “I can’t believe this,” as Casteel helped her over the chain after her hot ticket number was called.

Bowers won a $250 gift card to Arrowhead Mall — something she said she’ll likely spend on her granddaughters.

A group of children and teens from Boulevard Christian Church performed a special dance for the crowd, and musicians from the church, under the direction of Jerry Huffer, also played music.

When Muskogee Mayor John Tyler Hammons prepared to begin drawing numbers for the grand prize of $10,000, a hush came over the packed food court.

All 10 alternate numbers were then drawn, with no one claiming any by the time the big event was over.

Anyone with the grand prize ticket or any of the alternates should contact the Greater Area Muskogee Chamber of Commerce no later than noon, Dec. 27 to claim the prize. If the grand prize number, from Golden Corral, is not claimed by the deadline, the first alternate ticket will win and so on.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

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