Melvin Smith of Scott was still shaking with amazement when he claimed a $12,000 top prize from a $2 Gifts scratch-off at the Louisiana Lottery's Lafayette regional office.  

"I grabbed my heart after I scratched the ticket, and my wife frantically asked me what was wrong," said Smith.  "I told her we won!"

Smith said he was so excited about winning that he slept with his ticket under his mattress that night for safe keeping.  

Smith purchased his winning scratch-off at Valero Corner Store #620 on Ambassador Caffery in Lafayette.  He said he plans to use his winnings to provide a nice Christmas for his children.

Gifts is a $2 scratch-off game that offers players the chance to win up to $12,000. With 10 chances to win on each ticket, the game has three remaining top prizes as of Dec 7.  

According to Louisiana Lottery policy, a scratch-off game is closed and removed from sale when all of the top prizes for the game have been claimed. Winners have 90 days from the game closure date in which to claim their winnings.

Players must be at least 21 years old to purchase a Lottery ticket.  The Lottery encourages anyone who has a gambling problem or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem to call toll-free 1-877-770-7867 for help. For security purposes, the Lottery also encourages players to sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchasing.