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Cathy and Jim Murphy of Ham Lake with their million dollar check.

Ham Lake couple purchased million dollar ticket in Crow Wing County

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The first of two $1 million New Year’s Day Minnesota Millionaire Raffle winners — who purchased the ticket in Crow Wing County — has stepped forward.

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Jim and Cathy Murphy of Ham Lake claimed their winnings Monday at the Minnesota State Lottery Office in Roseville. The Murphys are one of two $1 million winners of the Minnesota Millionaire Raffle that took place on Jan. 1. The other ticket was sold in Pine County and that winner has not stepped forward yet.

“We’re very excited,” said Cathy Murphy of the winning ticket. “I was visiting family the day before Thanksgiving and stopped by the Holiday gas station in Garrison and bought multiple tickets.

“This is the largest amount I have ever won. The most I ever won was $100. I never told Jim I won that one so I could go shopping, but this one I had to tell him.”

Murphy said that when the winning numbers were announced she was already in bed sleeping. She said the next day she stopped at the gas station and had them print out the winners. She then realized that she won.

“I called my husband and he thought I was pulling his leg,” said Murphy. “I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I was looking at the winning number.”

Jim Murphy said, “I looked and looked at it. I couldn’t believe it.”

Cathy Murphy said that Jim usually doesn’t play the lottery. She said she started playing the Minnesota Millionaire Raffle, that began seven years ago, about three years ago.

“It seems to have better odds at winning than the other lotteries,” said Murphy. “This is the first time I ever won playing this lottery. I mostly play Northstar Cash.”

Jim Murphy said they waited before they claimed their winnings so they could meet with their lawyers and accountant and to tell their family.

“We didn’t want our family to hear about our winnings from the media,” said Jim Murphy.

The Murphys have five children and four grandchildren under the age of 4.

When asked what the couple plans to spend their winnings on they said, “We want to take care of a few small things, put a three-season addition on our home and do some traveling.”

“We would go to Vegas, but we don’t gamble,” Jim Murphy said with a laugh.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl.

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