The bride's birthday gift before her wedding turned out to be a $1 million scratch-off ticket


Scratch card lottery winner Juli Whitehead and her husband Mike, with the $1 million ticket.

A scratch-off ticket proved to be a great start to married life for St Louis couple Juli Whitehead and her husband, Mike.

Juli said she received the Missouri Lottery scratch-off card as a 32nd birthday gift right before her wedding, and she left checking it until she returned from her honeymoon.

The ticket came from Dierbergs Market, 860 Arnold Commons Drive, in Arnold.

When she returned and started scratching the ticket, she couldn’t believe it was worth $1 million.

“I got it as a gift in a birthday card from a woman who is like a second mother to me,” explained the now-married Mrs Whitehead.

“She gave it to me at my bachelorette party. We just got back from our honeymoon on Saturday, so I finally scratched it off last night.”

Juli’s winning ticket was purchased by her friend Nicky, at Dierbergs Market in Arnold.

“More zeroes just kept appearing, and I was, like, ‘Mike. You need to get out here, right now!’ I was shocked.”

The young couple have time to decide whether to take the prize as an annuity, or a lump sum of $700,000.

Her new husband, Mike, was being sensible about the possibilities.

“Maybe a college fund for future kids or something like that if we take the lump sum,” he said.

Neither of them claimed to be big lottery players, but they may be now.

“You can’t win if you don’t play,” offered Whitehead wisely.

This article was originally published in Oct, 2015 and reprinted for our LOOK BACK series.