James Hentis and Gerard "Jerry" Schallom.
Jefferson City, MO (KSDK) -- Two friends and co-workers at Ameren Corp. claimed the largest Show Me Cash jackpot in Missouri Lottery earlier this month.
James Hentis of Red Bud, Illinois and Gerard "Jerry" Schallom of St. Louis have been friends for more than 20 years and for the last three years have worked together as linemen. They usually put up $5 and buy various lottery tickets during fuel stops.
During one fateful fuel stop on December 3, Hentis and Schallom remembered they had won a free play in the Show Me Cash drawing from earlier in the week. They exchanged the free play for a ticket and then stored said ticket with a few of their Lotto and Powerball tickets in their truck.
They didn't check their tickets until after work the following Monday. The two were stunned to learn they were suddenly $829,986 richer. They've agreed to split the winnings.
Schallom and Hentis said the money has not changed their habits, but Schallom admits he's been going out with his buddies lately and is picking up the tabs. Hentis has plans to pay off his home and his car, as well as invest and use funds to pay for his daughter's college education.
To date, more than $16.5 million has been award in Show Me Cash jackpot prizes since the game began.