When Paula Hughes of Westwego realized that her raffle ticket matched one of the five $50,000 winning Millionaire Raffle numbers drawn on April 15, she was shocked. That didn't stop her from claiming the prize at the Louisiana Lottery Corporation's New Orleans office that very same day.

"I am just so happy," an ecstatic Hughes shared. "I had to sit down for a second, but words can't describe how I feel, and it could not have come at a better time."

Hughes' raffle ticket matched raffle number 135476 to win her prize. She said she plans to use her winnings to take care of  household needs.

Hughes, age 48, purchased her winning ticket at Wego Texaco on Westbank Expressway in Westwego. The retailer will receive a $500 bonus for selling Hughes her winning ticket.

Millionaire Raffle, the Lottery's first-ever raffle game, offered players the best odds ever to win $1 million with only 300,000 tickets available for sale. In addition to the $1 million top prize, five winning raffle numbers worth $50,000 each and 500 winning raffle numbers worth $500 each were also drawn. In all, 506 raffle numbers won $1.5 million in cash prizes.

The $1 million winning raffle ticket was purchased at Studebaker Texaco Travel Plaza on Frontage Road in Rayne. Besides Hughes' ticket, the other $50,000 winning raffle tickets were purchased at Jim's Circle S Food Store on Highway 41 in Pearl River; Circle K #9727 on Plank Road in Baton Rouge; T.G. Mini Mart #2 on Highway 51 South in Tangipahoa; and Riverside Travel Center on Pump Slough Road in Pearl River. 

As with all Lottery draw-style games, prizes must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing, which is Oct. 12, 2008 for Millionaire Raffle. Original tickets are needed to claim any prize.

Players must be at least 21 years of age to purchase Lottery tickets. In addition, the Lottery cautions players to play responsibly. Help is available to those who may have a gambling problem by calling toll-free, 1-877-770-7867.