A Schuyler man has won a 2020 Ford F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCrew Flex Fuel truck as part of a scratch-off game from the Nebraska Lottery.
Julio Olmedo was presented with the brand new truck on Jan. 21 as part of the lottery’s Trucks & Bucks contest. Olmedo scratched off a series of three matching symbols with the truck prize next to it, meaning that he was the first of seven winners throughout Nebraska over the course of the year.
Trucks & Bucks is one of the lottery’s most popular games, celebrating its 25th year this year. The prizes are largely the same, from cash to free E-10 gas for a year to the new trucks. However, the truck that Olmedo won and will be won by another six will be different this time around. For the contest’s silver anniversary, the trucks will take on a silver hue instead of the traditional Husker red.
“It’s something unique for the 25th anniversary,” said Neil Watson, public information officer for the Nebraska Lottery.
Olmedo bought his winning ticket in early January and started the process of scratching away at the ticket when he returned to his home in Schuyler. His persistent scratching led to the matchup of the symbols with the grand prize, which meant that he would be driving home with the new truck.
“I immediately scratched it off (when I got home),” Olmedo said. “It (wasn’t) very long. Right after that, we made the call.”
Olmedo bought the ticket at Sam’s General Store in Columbus and received his prize there upon filling out some paperwork. Olmedo will not have to pay taxes on the truck, as the $54,800 vehicle price includes all federal and state taxes.
“We pay all federal and state withholdings,” Watson said. “A lot of people think that when they win the truck, they have to pay the taxes on it. We bill it into the prize now, so when you win the truck, the taxes are paid and we give a cash payment to the winner to license it. Basically, all you have to do is get insurance and put gas in it.”
Olmedo’s new truck is also a flex-fuel vehicle, a feature of a sponsorship agreement that the lottery has with the Nebraska Corn Board that also includes the prize of free E-10 ethanol fuel.
“We always buy a flex-fuel vehicle,” Watson said. “It can run on E-10 or any flexible-fuel as well. We have a great partnership with the Corn Board and the Ethanol Board and they provide $500 gift cards as prizes in the game.”
Olmedo didn’t go into the game with dreams of winning, but he’s grateful that he had the opportunity to do so. Now he has a new truck, and he plans on using it.
“I felt excited (to win),” Olmedo said. “It shows that it can happen to anybody. Before, I thought that it really didn’t happen to anybody. (I’ll) drive it and enjoy it.”
Zach Roth is a reporter for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at email@example.com.
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