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Hackmans hit $8.5 million jackpot

Posted: Thursday, Jul 24th, 2008

Terry and Renee Hackman, of Franklin Grove, were presented with their oversized $8.5 million lottery check Thursday morning in Dixon. The Hackmans won the prize in May. Lottery official Jodi Winnett presented the prize. (Photo by Monetta Young)

FRANKLIN GROVE – After promising their children a weekend getaway, not even winning an $8.5 million Illinois Lottery jackpot could stop Renee and Terry Hackman from keeping their word.  When the family stopped for gas during their road trip, Renee went inside their local Murphy USA convenience store to check her Mega Millions ticket. 

“As I walked in, Terry said that I had better have the right numbers this time,” recalls Renee, who has played the Lottery for more than 10 years. “The attendant asked me to step around the counter and look at the machine.  I saw all the zeros and couldn’t believe my eyes.”

Despite their good luck, the Hackman family vacation stayed on course.  “We were a nervous wreck,” Renee said, “but we couldn’t change our plans because we had promised our kids that we would go. The kids had a blast, but Terry and I had to baby sit the ticket the whole time.  So, we didn’t have as much fun as the kids.”

Not surprisingly, Renee and Terry plan to invest a significant portion of their $8.5 million fortune for their five children and three grandchildren. “This is really a blessing,” Renee says.  “We will be able to give our children more experiences and college funds.”  Of course, with $8.5 million, the Hackmans will have some spare change left after creating the college funds, and the proud parents have no shortage of ideas for maximizing their wealth.

“We’ve always dreamed about being able to travel to see the Redwoods, the Rocky Mountains and Niagara Falls,” Renee says. “We would really like to go to Germany, since Terry’s heritage is there.  Family events are important.  Winning this money is a total blessing because we can have a little more quality time for family.”

Not all of the staggering jackpot will go to family vacations, however.  “Terry and I both believe that you should be a part of your community, so I’m planning to pursue a nursing degree to help others,” Renee says. 

Amid the excitement of winning $8.5 million, the Hackmans have managed to put together a realistic plan.  “We’re just trying to enjoy the moment and then come down off the clouds and really be smart about saving money while we enjoy life,” Renee says. “We want to find a good balance.”

“It’s wonderful to see two winners enjoying their new life as multi-millionaires while responsibly preparing for the future,” said Jodie Winnett, acting superintendent of the Illinois Lottery.  “Renee and Terry have a firm belief in improving the lives of others, and it’s great to see the Lottery help that pursuit.” 

Renee and Terry’s incredible fortune has created Illinois Lottery fever among their friends.  “One of my friends wants the first dollar from our winnings to buy a ticket,” Renee says.  “This truly can happen to anyone.”

Murphy USA, located at 1620 S. Galena Ave. in Dixon, Ill., will receive a 1 percent bonus of the total prize, or $85,000, for selling the winning ticket.

About the Illinois Lottery

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery is a state agency with annual sales over $2 billion. Since its inception, the Lottery has contributed more than $14 billion to the state Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools. Players must be at least 18 years old. For more information on the Illinois Lottery please visit our Web site at www.illinoislottery.com.

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