The winner of the 2020 Shop St. Joseph program is an avid believer in shopping local and is an employee of a small business herself, pledging to spend all of the prize money in St. Joseph.
Melissa Shope’s winning ticket came from Hy-Vee, but she and her family had tickets from many of the Shop St. Joseph retailers including stores and restaurants, where the family regularly does curbside pickup.
“We always shop local as much as we can,” the St. Joseph resident said. “I work for a small business and know how important shopping local is.”
Shope initially checked her tickets Thursday and saw a strand from HyVee was close, but not the exact number and thought that was the end of it. But then she found three more tickets in her car, one of which was the winning number, 1262767.
Shope is married with pets and says the prize money will all be spent in St. Joseph. “Every penny will be spent in St. Joseph,” she said.
As for ideas on how the money will be spent, she said, “plenty of shopping — groceries, gas and home improvement projects.”
This is the 14th year of the Shop St. Joseph program, which encourages shopping local during the holiday season. About 2.3 million tickets were distributed this year from 117 participating merchants.
“The Chamber is proud to have successfully kept so much holiday spending with St. Joseph merchants this year,” she said. “With the combination of Shop St. Joseph and Champions of Commerce, our non-holiday shop local campaign, we really are striving to help local businesses survive 2020. It’s been a difficult year for so many residents. The day we give away $10,000 is always exciting, but it’s especially rewarding this year.”
The check was presented at Hy-Vee, with Mike Basch, store director, and representatives of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.