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BOISE -- An eastern Idaho man who has been down on his luck after breaking his leg and being unable to work, is feeling much better these days after winning a $501,194 jackpot on the Wild Card game.

Idaho Lottery officials say Gary Humphrey bought the winning ticket at Toad's Store and Ale House in Chubbuck. It was for the Aug. 18 draw.

I was reading the Sunday paper and watching a little NASCAR pre-race and I checked my Powerball and Hot Lotto numbers, said Humphrey. I didn t have any winners, so I watched a little more TV before I checked my Wild Card tickets on my laptop. I stared at the computer screen for about 15 minutes thinking it was just too good to be true.

Humphrey called Idaho Lottery Customer Service to verify the numbers. Sure enough, his ticket matched all the numbers and the Wild Card for the half-a-million dollar jackpot. Humphrey claimed his prize last Thursday from Idaho Lottery headquarters in Boise.

It couldn t have happened to a better guy, said Myrose Powell, proprietor of Toad s Store and Ale House. This is fantastic for him.

For their part in selling the winning ticket, Toad s receives a $20,000 bonus from the Idaho Lottery.

Humphrey is currently enrolled at Idaho State University taking Computer Aided Drafting courses to learn a new profession. He plans to use his winnings support his education and buy property.

Wild Card is a draw-style game played only in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. This was Idaho s tenth jackpot win on the game since it was launched in 1998.

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