An impulse purchase paid off big time for New Orleans Saints fan Richard Pardue when he won a $100,000 top prize from the Louisiana Lottery's I LOVE MY SAINTS scratch-off game.


"It was the first Saints game of the season, so I thought 'why not?'" Pardue recalled after buying the scratch-off Sept. 9-the day the Saints played the Washington Redskins. When he claimed his prize at the Lottery's Monroe office Monday, Pardue exclaimed, "When I saw how much I won, I almost died!"

The 29-year-old Chatham resident purchased the top-prize winning ticket from Chatham U Pak It on Highway 34. He plans to use the winnings to pay off his house.

I LOVE MY SAINTS is the Lottery's fourth Saints-themed scratch-off. The $5 game features five top prizes of $100,000 and four second-chance drawings for game-day ticket packages and official autographed Saints merchandise prizes. There are four top prizes remaining as of today. The deadline to send in nonwinning tickets for the next second-chance drawing is Oct. 15.

Ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age. The Lottery encourages anyone who may have 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 suggests that players sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchasing.