A grocery shopping trip was very lucky for this year’s Shop St. Joseph $10,000 winner.
“We have three kids, so we buy a lot of groceries,” said Hannah Smith. The winning ticket came from Hy-Vee Food Stores, but her husband Marquest said they also had tickets from Price Chopper.
Hannah, a stay at home mom, is originally from St. Joseph, but had moved away after marrying Marquest, who is from Georgia and was in the military. They decided to move back to St. Joseph to raise their family. Hannah said that she had planned to watch the news to see the winning numbers with her mother Thursday night, but her mom got delayed. Marquest, an air traffic controller, was in the tower and unreachable.
“So when I saw I had the winning ticket, I had no one to tell except my kids who didn’t really understand!” she said. “When my mom got to my house she didn’t believe me. She said, ‘Let me see the ticket, I don’t believe it!'”
This is their second year collecting Shop St. Joseph tickets and Marquest had put the drawing date on the calendar, although they didn’t really expect to win.
“I was shocked, we never win anything,” Hannah said.
When asked what they plan to do with the prize money, they said they’d probably pay off a little debt and put a little in savings, but they’ve also had an eye on a family vacation.
“We’ve actually been brainstorming locations and looking on AirBnB for the last few days trying to decide what to save up for,” she said. Hannah said she, Marquest and their three boys have never taken a trip that wasn’t to visit family or for a special event, so they are looking forward to a getaway just for fun.
This is the 16th 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 119 participating merchants.
“Shop St. Joseph is a longstanding tradition now in our community,” said Natalie Redmond, President and CEO of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. “We always love to see a family blessed with $10,000, but the real prize is knowing how many holiday shopping dollars we helped keep in St. Joseph with the program. Because of Shop St. Joseph, more purchases are made here versus online or in Kansas City.”
The check was presented at Hy-Vee, with representatives from Hy-Vee, the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce and presenting sponsor News-Press NOW.