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I was a "thousandaire'

I never thought I would become $1,000 richer just because I went to McDonald's.

The whole thing started when my family and I dropped my father off at the airport so he could pick up his classic car from Rhode Island. Afterward my mother took my brother and me to McDonald's for lunch. When my mother got the food (I ordered two cheeseburgers), the lady behind the counter gave her three scratch-off cards for a Dick Tracy game where you could win "thousands of dollars in cash and prizes," as the commercials said.

We immediately scratched off our cards. My mother and brother both won nothing. I began scratching off the boxes on my card. The first three said "Go to the next box." When I scratched off the fourth box, it said "Stop! You win $1,000!"

"Mom, look at this! I won a thousand bucks!" I exclaimed.

"Oh, sure," she replied, sarcastically. I handed her the ticket. "You did!" she yelled. "You really did it!"

My mother took it up to the lady at the counter, who gave her instructions to mail a photocopy of the card to the address on the back.

About a month later, my mother brought in the mail and yelled, "Tommy! It's here! It's here!"

My friend and I, who were playing a game, immediately rushed out and just stared at it. My mother immediately took us out to Toys "R" Us to buy two games for our Nintendo. My brother bought "Snoopy" and I bought "Back to the Future."

To this day, family and friends still tease me about it. As for the rest of the money, it went into my bank account for college.

Tom just finished the seventh grade at Bayonet Point Middle School in New Port Richey.