Illinois lottery player wins $1M after purchasing scratch-off in Cook County: 'I can retire early'

COOK COUNTY, Ill. - An Illinois lottery player is $1 million richer after purchasing a winning ticket in Harwood Heights.

The winner, going by Mr. M, is from Chicago and purchased the $10 scratch-off ticket at Harlem Food and Liquors, located at 4850 N. Harlem Ave.

"I was going to retire next year - but now I don’t have to wait!" he said. "It’s time I focus on what really matters - my family. With this money, I can retire early, and I’m going to move closer to my kids to be more present in their lives. I’m also a grandfather, and it’s finally time for me to enjoy spoiling my grandkids."

Mr. M said he plans to buy a condo near his kids and trade in his car for a pick-up truck to help his daughter.

"I'm going to buy a condo near my kids, and trade in my car for a pick-up truck to help out my daughter who is always paying delivery fees for things - I can now be her delivery man, and I won’t charge her a penny," he said.

The retailer that sold the winning ticket will receive a cash selling bonus of $10,000.

"Mr. M is a regular customer who comes into our store often," said Kaushik Patel of Harlem Food & Liquors. "He actually bought the very last 50X Payout ticket in our machine. He then came back the next day and said ‘Hey buddy, I got a million-dollar win from you!’ He was so happy, and smiling so big – it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy."

This isn’t the first time the retailer has sold a big winning lottery ticket, Lottery officials said. Last September, Harlem Food & Liquors sold a $1 million winning Lotto ticket.

So far in November, nearly 3.5 million winning Instant Tickets have been sold in Illinois, netting lottery players over $75 million in prizes, Lottery officials said.