Good Luck And A Truck

Two-buck lottery ticket leads to new Ford F-150 for Nebraska veteran

By Kathy Sena

Eugene Sempek didn’t think much of the two-dollar Nebraska Lottery scratch-off ticket that he bought in late March 2015. His wife, Vicki, was in another room of the house when Eugene came home and scratched off the ticket to find he’d won the big prize: a new Ford F-150.

“I can’t tell you what I said. It was a cuss word,” he laughs. “My wife called out, ‘What did you break? Did you spill something?’”

Even before buying the ticket, Eugene had his eye on the latest F-150 for some time. And the truck he won, though it was delivered on April Fool’s Day, was no joke. It’s the truck of his dreams. “Nebraska ‘Big Red,’” he says, noting the truck’s paint matches the scarlet school colors of the state university, “and fully loaded,” he adds.

“The Nebraska Lottery paid all the state and federal taxes, and even gave me a check for $1,800 in case there were additional taxes due,” says Eugene. “Plus I received a $100 gift card for ethanol. I just had to pay for the license and insurance.” Total value of the package: $52,000.

Eugene, who was a U.S. Navy gunner’s mate 3rd class on the USS Windham County, served from 1957 to 1961 in the Belgian Congo, the Panama Canal and Japan. He’s a DAV (Disabled American Veterans) member, so he thought it was fitting to take his brand-new truck down to the local DAV office for a photo.

“Ford donated a Flex van to the Omaha VA Hospital in August 2015,” he says. “It’s used to transport veterans from their homes to the hospital.” He adds, “All the drivers are volunteers,” and extends “a very sincere thank you for all the vans that Ford donates to the VA’s Veterans Transportation Program.”

DAV, the longest-lasting veterans advocacy group in the country, aims to empower veterans and give them access to all the benefits available to them. And Ford is helping them further that mission, with projects like its Military Appreciation Program, which you can learn more about at

As for his own good luck? “All I can say is, ‘Wow!’” reflects Eugene. “It’s just unbelievable.”

Tags: F-150 , Flex

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