Robert Schmidt (left) and Ralph Kreutziger, Marion, were in Topeka recently to pick up their $20,000 Kansas Lottery prize.
The process never varies. They take turns scratching the ticket—one letter at a time—joking all the while with other coffee shop patrons that this will be the time they reveal 10 words and win $20,000.
“We might have to go to Topeka tomorrow,” they say.
Last week, they did. On Friday, Schmidt and Kreutziger came to Topeka to claim a $20,000 prize on the $2 bonus crossword ticket they had purchased and scratched the day before.
“All this time we’ve been joking with people about going to Topeka and wouldn’t you know it? By the time we finished scratching the last letter and saw we really did have a $20,000 winner, it was after 4:00 and there was no one left in the coffee shop to tell.”
Robert Schmidt and wife Bonnie celebrated their 45th anniversary last month. Ralph Kreutziger and wife Phyllis have been married almost 40 years.
Schmidt is retired after heading up the electric department for the City of Marion. Kreutziger is a semi-retired estimator for Hett Construction in Marion.
Both men and their wives are lifelong residents of the area.
Schmidt and Kreutziger said they have no definite plans for their prize money. They do know they’ll continue to meet at the Ampride coffee shop, at least four days a week, to drink coffee, scratch lottery tickets together, one letter at a time, and tell the story of how they “won the big one” and had to go to Topeka.
Ampride is located at 1225 E. Main St. in Marion.