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Arkansas man used losing $20 scratch-off ticket to win $500,000 in play-it-again game

Despite the odds against him, a man from Arkansas won a $500,000 prize using a scratch-off ticket that he had originally lost $20 on.

Michael Koontz from Winslow won $500,000 with a lottery ticket that previously lost through the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery's Play It Again drawing on October 26th. The winning entry came from the '$1,000,000 Riches' instant game ticket and was randomly selected from eligible entries submitted by players from non-winning instant scratch-off tickets. Koontz found out about his win on the same day.

"I received a phone call from the lottery saying that I had won in one of those second-chance drawings," Koontz told the Arkansas Lottery. "I didn't get too excited because I thought it was a scam and was waiting on the punch line."

The first person he called was his wife, who was wary about the phone call. So she checked The Club website to see if Koontz's name was listed, and then she called the Arkansas Lottery to confirm the win.

With his newfound wealth, Koontz intends to pay bills and take a vacation, according to the Lottery.

Michael Koontz of Winslow won $500,000 in the lottery’s Play It Again® drawing.
Michael Koontz of Winslow won $500,000 in the lottery’s Play It Again® drawing.

What is ASL's Play It Again?

When you play instant lottery games from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, each scratch-off ticket is automatically entered into a drawing for the Play It Again prize. The winner will be chosen randomly from all eligible entries.

Players can enter eligible non-winning instant scratch-off tickets as well as winning and non-winning terminal-generated tickets to earn Points for Prizes points and enter the Play It Again drawings.

The upcoming Play It Again drawing is set to take place on February 29th and presents an opportunity to win a lottery prize of $250,000. Players can visit the Drawings & Winners page on The Club website to see the list of games that are part of the drawing.

The Club has over 327,000 members registered for free on or the official Arkansas Lottery and Club Mobile App under "The Club."

Where can you buy lottery tickets?

Tickets can be purchased in-person at gas stations, convenience stores and grocery stores. Some airport terminals may also sell lottery tickets.

You can also order tickets online through Jackpocket, the official digital lottery courier of the USA TODAY Network, in these U.S. states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington D.C. and West Virginia. The Jackpocket app allows you to pick your lottery game and numbers, place your order, see your ticket and collect your winnings all using your phone or home computer.

Jackpocket is the official digital lottery courier of the USA TODAY Network. Gannett may earn revenue for audience referrals to Jackpocket services. Must be 18+, 21+ in AZ and 19+ in NE. Not affiliated with any State Lottery. Gambling Problem? Call 1-877-8-HOPE-NY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY); 1-800-327-5050 (MA); 1-877-MYLIMIT (OR); 1-800-GAMBLER (all others). Visit for full terms and conditions.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Arkansas man won $500,000 in play-it-again lottery with losing ticket