Family from Courtland shares $1M lottery winnings

Phyllis and Don DeSaer

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota Millionaire Raffle ticket that Don DeSaer of Courtland received as a Christmas gift from one of his daughters turned out to be an unexpected present for the whole family.

Don’s Raffle ticket was one of two tickets to win $1 million on New Year’s Day, which he and his wife, Phyllis, discovered that day after stopping at a local convenience store.

Don received the $1 million winning ticket as a Christmas present from his daughter Amber DeSaer, who purchased two Raffle tickets — one for herself and one for her dad — on Thanksgiving Day at Casey’s General Store in New Ulm.

After checking her own Raffle ticket, Amber said it didn’t take long for her to realize that her dad had won. “His ticket was only two numbers away from mine and when I saw that one of the $1 million winning tickets was purchased at Casey’s, I knew he had it!,” she said.

“The cat was out of the bag at that point,” explained Don. “I wasn’t going to keep it myself, but she refused to take it back,” he added. So Don decided to split the prize equally among his wife and four adult daughters. That’s when he shared the news with his three other daughters. The family agreed not to tell anyone until after Amber’s wedding in mid-January.

On Jan. 19, the family of six arrived at Lottery headquarters in Roseville to claim the $1 million prize. Don and Phyllis DeSaer of Courtland, Bridget Wurtzberger of New Ulm, Amber DeSaer of New Ulm, Cassie Navara of Inver Grove Heights and Nikki DeSaer of New Ulm each claimed $166,666.

“The best part is being able to share it with the kids,” said Phyllis.

Casey’s General Store in New Ulm is located at 314 20th St. S. The business will receive a $5,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.