A $100,000 coffee break

Dennis Martin Jr. will always remember his last coffee break.

That coffee break didn’t involve a piping hot cup of Joe, a latte or a cappuccino.

Martin didn’t need any caffeine when he could get a boost from scratching little boxes on a ticket from the Minnesota State Lottery.

Martin won $100,000 on the Lottery’s “Coffee Break Crossword” game, a ticket he bought at Coborn’s, 1100 7th Avenue South, in Princeton.

April Lucker of Coborn’s sold Martin the winning ticket.

“He comes in all the time and buys three packs of cigarettes, four “Coffee Break Crossword” tickets and maybe four “Fast Cash Crossword” tickets,” Lucker said.

Martin wasn’t aware at first that he had won $100,000 on his lottery ticket.

He thought he had won $10,000 — and was very happy with that.

But as Martin took a closer look at his winning ticket, he noticed something.

Martin had nine words completed in his crossword puzzle. But he noticed he had missed a letter “M.” When he placed the letter it created a 10th word — and elevated his winnings from $10,000 to $100,000. What a difference a word can make.

“After realizing that the ticket was a $100,000 winner I sat there for an hour looking at it over and over, making sure,” Martin said.

He then took the winning ticket back to Coborn’s to verify that it was, indeed, a winning ticket.

Martin didn’t go to the customer service desk. Instead, he used Coborn’s in-store ticket checker. There, he got the confirmation he was looking for, he said.

Coborn’s Lucker was on break at the time Martin was checking his winning ticket. However, she met him at the main entrance as he was leaving the store.

“He stopped me and he was real excited,” Lucker said.

“He then showed me the ticket,” she said.

Deb Erickson, manager of Coborn’s photo lab, said she touched Martin for good luck before buying a lottery ticket of her own.

The rules of his game are simple. To play, you scratch the “Your Letters” box to reveal 18 letters. Scratch only the letters in the crossword puzzle that match those in the “Your Letters” area. If you match letters in the “Your Letters” area to reveal three or more complete words in the crossword puzzle, you win the prize indicated in the prize legend. In Martin’s case, his letters created 10 words.