Sunday, December 10, 2023

Oldtown man wins $80K on the Big Spin

Staff Writer | February 9, 2023 1:00 AM

Oldtown's Joe Cramer may not be the first area resident to win money on the Big Spin, however, he does know Lonnie Dahl, who came into the store where he works after he became the game's first winner.

Wednesday, he joined the Priest River man in winning money from Idaho Lottery's most recent — and highly popular — scratch game.

“When I got the Big Spin wheel on the ticket, I went down to the store so I could watch the video wheel.  I had a feeling it was a Big Spin. And I was right!” Cramer said. “I just had my birthday, and this is a great way to celebrate!”

The Oldtown resident joined Selena Rigby of Idaho Falls at the Big Spin event, to compete in the second edition of the popular scratch game, the Big Spin. Each got a spin of the wheel, with Cramer winning $80,000 and Rigby winning $70,000.

Cramer, who works at Perfection Tire just across the border in Newport, Wash., purchased his winning ticket from Mobil 62512 in Oldtown.

Rigby’s “lucky, lucky day” came when she bought her ticket on a fluke at the Maverik in Rexburg while heading to St. Anthony two weeks ago.

“I needed to stop and get a soda, so I thought I’d get a scratch ticket, too,” the travel coordinator told Idaho Lottery officials. “I’m going to be responsible with this. This is life-changing and a great opportunity for me.  I’m going to invest it so it starts working for me.”

The second edition of the Big Spin went on sale in late October.  The game is already over 70% sold. There is one Big Spin Event winning ticket remaining in the game.

A lifelong resident of North Idaho, Cramer was understated but enthusiastic as he took his turn at the Big Wheel. After a quick reminder of the rules from lottery officials, Cramer reached into a bag to determine where on the wheel the game would start.

"Let's do this, guys," said Cramer, wearing work boots, jeans, a plaid shirt, and a baseball cap as he looked back toward onlookers watch the Big Spin take place.

Grabbing hold of the wheel, Cramer pulled down with both hands, helping the device easily go past the minimum three rotations to be counted as a valid spin.

Clapping as it went around and slowed, first passing $70,000, slowly even more as it passed $75,000, and then $50,000. And then, finally stopping at $80,000, bumping up against the tiny spoke separating that prize from the next amount of $60,000.

Cramer, whose eyes were glued on the wheel, clapped his hands together over his head and then pumped his fist in the air several times and flashed a big grin.

He then gave a big hug to his wife, Ashley, and looked again at the wheel, at the marker sitting firmly in the middle of a bright blue rectangle showing his prize. Shaking his head almost in disbelief, he then shook Idaho Lottery spokesman David Workman's hands.

His wife gave Cramer another quick hug before tears welled, prompting Workman to ask if she was OK.

Giving her husband another hug, she nodded as Workman told the crowd that they had "tears of excitement" as she joined Cramer in looking at the wheel.

Joseph Cramer met Dahl, the very first winner of the game when happened to come into the Perfection Tire where he worked to get some work done on his truck.

"So the good luck started there," Workman told Cramer.

Cramer smiled and said yes, prompting the Lottery spokesman to ask him if he was going to win big on Wednesday.

When asked if he was nervous to spin the wheel, Cramer said no.

"We've already been through that part," he said with a smile.

After Cramer won, Workman told the couple they had just won $80,000, prompting the Cramers to cheer loudly and for Joseph Cramer to give another fist pump with one hand as he held onto the check with the other.

Seeing the players' excitement is exactly why Idaho Lottery rolled out the new game after it was featured by their ticket printer last fall. Popular in Canada and in a number of other locations, the game is now in its second iteration in Idaho.

"I think that the idea behind having the spin is also it's something new that we haven't seen in Idaho before," Workman said earlier. "It's just a little extra element that creates some extra excitement for folks. And the game is gaining in popularity. And we're excited to host the people who are going to win to come back down to Boise to have a chance to win up to $100,000."

Of the twelve top pries, three of them have been in North Idaho with the first being Lonnie Dahl, who won $75,000; Jay Kassebaum of Cocolalla, who won $50,000; and now Cramer.


(Photo courtesy IDAHO LOTTERY)

Ashley and Joseph Cramer get their picture taken with Idaho Lottery spokesman David Workman after the Oldtown man won $80,000 on the Big Spin.

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