When local resident Laura Norton opened up a Safeway Monopoly ticket for $20,000, she wasn’t sure it was real. Neither was her husband, Peter. Neither were the staff at Homer’s Safeway, who all checked the ticket multiple times.
Spoiler: it was real. Norton is Homer’s first shopper to win such a big prize, said Store Manager Bob Malone. She was presented with the check, flowers and a cake on Tuesday at Safeway.
“I’m so excited,” Malone said.
Since the Homer Safeway began participating in the Safeway Monopoly Game, a system of prizes given out to select shoppers who get certain tickets they earn by shopping, there has been only one other big winner, Malone said. A local shopper won $1,000 two years ago, and another won the same amount this year.
Norton joked that the $20,000, minus the taxes that have already been taken out for her, is all but spent already. She and her husband plan to put it toward a trip they’ll be taking with a community choir to France and Belgium.
Norton did concede that her children will get some, but not all, of her winnings as well.
Norton won the $20,000 “College Tuition” prize. She got the ticket a few weeks ago, and opened it up at home. Her first reaction?
“Uh, Peter, I think we won something,” Norton recalled.
“I don’t think he believed me,” she added.
After bringing the winning ticket to the store to have staff members check it out, Norton had nothing left but to wait. Safeway staff send the ticket to be vetted at the Monopoly Prize Verification Center in Georgia.
From there, Norton was contacted and asked whether she wanted the taxes taken out ahead of time, after which the check was sent to Safeway.