Cary 7-11 owner Jay Patel said he was really excited when he heard his store at 296 Cary-Algonquin Road had sold one of four winning Illinois Lottery Halloween Millionaire Raffle tickets.
But when a week went by with no winner coming foward, Patel said he finally looked in his wallet and found his own Halloween raffle ticket. Turns out, his ticket was the $1 million winner (number 279505).
"I don't usually play the Halloween game," Patel said. "I didn't check the numbers right away, and then I found my ticket."
Since then Patel and his wife, Dimpal, have been somewhat in a daze, they said.
"This has felt like a dream," Dimpal Patel said. "Only today is it starting to feel like it's real."
A representative from the Illinois Lottery on Thursday morning presented the Patels with the store's ceremonial oversized $10,000 commission check for selling the winning ticket. Managers from 7-11 corporate headquarters attended the presentation.
The Lottery official also gave the Patels a second ceremonial check for winning the $1 million raffle.
The Patels said they plan to put their winnings toward their children's education and possibly a vacation sometime in the future.
The couple keeps busy operating the Cary store as well as two other 7-11s. One store is located on Berkshire Drive in Crystal Lake and the other is in Belvidere.
The other three million dollar raffle tickets were sold at Boston's Gourmet Pizza in Tinley Park, 4T Liquor Corral in Streamwood, and Ayer Co. in Petersburg, according to the Illinois Lottery.
However, a long list of people who played the Halloween Millionaire Raffle game will walk away with $1,000 prizes including two more tickets purchased at Cary establishments, and two bought in Crystal Lake.