Curtis Beard of Marksville started the New Year with a bang when he claimed the $168,610 Easy 5 jackpot for the Dec. 29 drawing at the Lottery's Alexandria office. 

"I always play Easy 5," explained Beard, age 52.  "I like it because ezmatch gives me the chance to win instantly."  For an additional $1, players can add ezmatch to their Easy 5 ticket for the chance to win up to $250 instantly.

Beard received $118,027 after federal and state taxes were withheld.  He shared that he plans to use his winnings to pay bills.

Beard bought his winning ticket from Tobacco Plus #10 on Tunica Drive in Marksville. The store will receive a one-time selling bonus of $1,686 or 1 percent of the jackpot prize. The winning numbers for the Dec. 29 Easy 5 drawing were 07-10-12-24-30.

Ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age.  Draw-style game tickets must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing.  Anyone who may have a gambling problem or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem should call toll free 1-877-770-7867 for help.  For security purposes, the Lottery strongly encourages players to sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchasing.