Kevin Malone of Baton Rouge didn't feel guilty at all about opening one Christmas present early.  He did, however, wait until after the new year to claim it at Louisiana Lottery Corporation's headquarters -- a $100,000 top prize from a $100,000 Payout scratch-off ticket.

"My wife had bought some tickets as a stocking stuffer for me,"  explained Malone, whose wife purchased the winning tickets at Circle K #9723 on O'Neal Lane in Baton Rouge.  "Two days before Christmas I was driving her car and found them in the door pocket.  I couldn't help but scratch them."  Malone says he is an avid scratch-off player, but his favorites are the $5 and $3 games.

"I almost couldn't drive home because I was so shocked," exclaimed Malone.  He said he and his wife plan to use the winnings to pay off debt from two businesses they lost during Hurricane Katrina.  "We also have 18-year-old twins about to graduate from high school, so this has truly been a blessing," he added. 

Persons must be at least 21 years of age to purchase a Lottery ticket.  Anyone who has a gambling problem or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem are encouraged to call toll-free 1-877-770-7867.