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Chasing down Ennis’ elusive Lottery winner

What would you do with a million bucks?
Who hasn’t asked themselves this question before? At some point we have all wondered what would change with one million bucks. Would I quit my job, and if so, will I do so immediately or give my employer a little time to find a replacement? Would I want to get a fancy new car or something sporty? Who would be lucky enough to receive some of the money? Who would be my newfound or returning friend after hearing about my lucky turn of events?
Very few will ever get to have these questions answered, but that is not, we hear, the case for a very lucky Ennis resident. Tommy Dowell, the brother of the city hall and police department custodian Bobby Dowell, recently purchased a scratch off lottery ticket at Kwik Pick Citgo, located at N. Kaufman St. and MLK Drive. According to Bobby, Tommy’s scratching netted him a cool $1 million.
When my reporting colleague, who had heard from our editor who had heard from someone at the Ennis PD who had heard it from one of his friends – and so on and so forth – told me about the rumor, I sprung into action to find the lucky recipient. After all, tracking down stories is my job.
I traveled all across town looking for somebody who had more than rumors about what took place and whether there was any truth to the story.
The word “elusive” would be an understatement if I were to use it to describe this story.
Original reports were Tommy had bought the ticket at J.J. Hughes Grocery, but brief questioning of those at our favorite catfish-cookin’ eatery proved that to be a dead end. But they had heard a winning ticket had been purchased nearby. Then I discovered the real business that supplied the winning ticket was supposedly the Kwik Pick that was just down the street. However, when I questioned those at the store, they vehemently denied the purchase had been made at their establishment.
Finally, I got to talk to Bobby, who confirmed that his brother had scratched off a winner but few details were known and none have been forthcoming since regardless of how much digging, prying and begging I’ve done. The rumor mill all-but dried up and Tommy is – understandably – nowhere to be found.
Since that conversation with Tommy’s brother, I have heard a few more details and plenty more accounts of what took place the day a millionaire was created in Ennis.
One story has Bobby and Tommy splitting the money, as they went in together on the ticket. I have also heard that they both don’t talk about the incident simply because of the buzz it has already created without a confirmed story to go with it.
Since learning about the million-dollar lottery ticket – and suffering through the frustration about not being able to chase down the real skinny on what happened – I have contemplated how I would spend a million bucks.
Pretending that taxes wouldn’t play a part, which Tommy doesn’t have the luxury of doing, I would first give my family a portion of the money. My mom would get a large sum because she is the single person that has done the most in my life, raising me up and sending me off to college. My dad and brother would get a nice payday. Then my uncle and cousins would also receive some of the money.
After making sure my family is taken care of I would begin the spending. A new car would definitely be purchased; probably something from a Bond movie, like an Aston Martin. I would travel Europe and go on a cruise. I would up my poker stakes. In fact, I think I would play in the World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event a few years in a row.
All of these things wouldn’t necessarily make me happy, because money isn’t the way to happiness, but it sure would be fun for a while.
Although I would probably quit whatever job I had, I would still try to fill my day with either part-time work or freelance jobs. Something to pass the time would be necessary. Yet I wouldn’t want anything too constrictive to prevent me from all the traveling I would want to do.
And, of course, I would probably do just exactly what the Dowell family is doing. I would lay low, keep my mouth shut and try to stay as far away as possible from all the people who want a piece of my winnings.

Matt Cook is a staff writer at the Ennis Daily News and can be reached at matt@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Jan 25 2007. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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