Alex McBride, 28, of Millersburg thought long and hard about the perfect gift this Christmas for her parents, Kevin and Melinda Macker. She says they are fairly hard to buy for, and she had already bought her mom a big, cozy blanket and her dad some card boxes for his baseball card collection, but it wasn't enough. Then she remembered one of their favorite things: Missouri Lottery Scratchers tickets.
"My mom likes to get Scratchers tickets, but my dad and I cannot go to a convenience store without getting some," said McBride. "A lot of people will say we are both quite lucky."
So she set off on a Google and Pinterest search, trying to find a fun way to incorporate Scratchers tickets into a gift. But after a few days, McBride wasn't having any luck and gave up the search.
"A little bit later I was randomly singing the '12 Days of Christmas,' and I looked up at my husband and excitedly yelled, 'Oh, my gosh! That's it. I can do the 12 Days of Christmas, but call it the 12 Days of Lottery!'" said McBride.
Her husband agreed it would be a great gift for her parents, credited his wife with the unique idea and off she went.
McBride first needed to decide which Scratchers tickets she wanted to use. She pulled up molottery.com and made a list.
"The seventh day is a fun one to sing. On the seventh day of lottery, my true love gave to me: seven 'Silver 7s,'" said McBride.
Now that she had a list of Scratchers tickets she wanted to use, she needed a way to present all 78 together. She put them in a book she made using poster board, yarn and fancy markers.
“It is taking people by surprise on how huge and heavy it is,” said McBride.
You will notice on the cover of McBride’s book it says, ‘Written By: Kevin Macker Jr.’ she says that refers to her.
“I am through and through my father’s child,” said McBride. “We both do everything almost the same, including buying Scratchers tickets all the time.”
“All in all, I wanted to make something to test my creativity with something both my parents would thoroughly enjoy and in hopes of a big win so my dad can retire,” said McBride.
“Since before I was born, and I am the only child, my dad worked for an oil company,” she said. “Typically he is home for six weeks, gone for six weeks and so on. He has been doing this for over 35 years. I would just love to be able for one of us to win enough to be able to keep him home 24/7.”
Not only does McBride’s dad have an unusual work schedule, but it comes with unusual locations as well. Kevin Macker currently works in Saudi Arabia and has worked outside of the United States much of his career including: Europe, Russa, Africa, Indonesia and China.
As they were flipping through the pages, her dad’s eyes lit up when he saw the five “$300,000,000 Golden Ticket” Scratchers.
“Oh, my gosh,” Macker said. “Those are real tickets!”
Unfortunately, they didn’t hit it big, and McBride’s dad did have to leave for Saudi Arabia on Dec. 27. But they had a wonderful time dreaming.
“He called when he got to Chicago and said he was telling everyone around him on the plane about their present I made,” said McBride. “So I would say that it is safe to say he was overly excited about it, still.”
You can see McBride's "12 Days of Lottery" book in full below: