Atmore man wins big in Lotto

Published 2:26 am Wednesday, May 17, 2006

By By Adam Prestridge
The first time worked like a charm for an Atmore man, who was one of two jackpot winners to share an estimated $500,000 MEGA MONEY(tm) jackpot last Tuesday.
The 64-year-old retiree, who wishes to remain anonymous, bought his first five MEGA MONEY lottery tickets for $5 earlier this month at the Grey Goose located in Walnut Hill, Fla. To his surprise, the second ticket contained the winning number 01-15-33-43- and the MEGABALL(r) was 21.
"I was pretty nervous when I found out I did win," the winner said. "I had the shakes. I was really shocked when I found out I won. It will help me out; it gets me out of debt. It's not a lot to blow on any one thing, but I can get a few little things that I need and get out of debt.
The Grey Goose sold a $1.5 million lotto ticket less than five months ago that two players split 50-50. Leslie D. Steele, a spokesperson with the Florida Lottery, said it is highly unusual for one store to sell two winning MEGA MONEY jackpot tickets only months a part.
"It's not uncommon for our retailers to sell several winning prize tickets, but two jackpots in a five-month period of time is very unique," she said. "It's not something that happens very often. We've had many stores that have sold more than one top prizes, but not in such a short period of time. That is very unique for the Florida Lottery."
The Grey Goose, which is located at 11330 Hwy. 97 on the Florida state line, has sold lotto tickets for 15 years. Before January's big winner, the biggest winner was $46,000.
"It's phenomenal, it's fantastic," Grey Goose manager Suzy Mager said of the win. "A week before we sold that ticket we had a guy that had five out of six on lottery and his payout was a little over $5,000."
Mager said she has a constant flow of customers drop in just to buy Lotto tickets.
"People are funny about where they buy their tickets," she said. "Some say they are luckier here than at other places."
She said believe it or not, there are a lot of winners from other states besides Florida.
"There are a lot of winners in Alabama, people who are close to the line," Mager said. "It's based on percentages, populations and pure luck. The odds are just more favorable in larger populated areas."
The Florida Lottery's MEGA MONEY game includes the following features:
According to the Florida Lottery, total sales for this jackpot generated approximately $405,000 for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF). Since 1988, the Florida Lottery has contributed more than $15 billion to the EETF.
"It's amazing how much is spent and how much we pay out," Mager said.
As for Atmore's winner, he's going to continue to try his luck.'
"I've already bought a couple of more tickets," he said. "I'm going to keep playing, there's no use in quitting. I never expect to win when I play. I feel really lucky."
The winner of the other ticket, which was purchased at RDG II Enterprises, Inc. in Hialeah, Fla. (Miami-Dade County), had not been claimed as of press time Tuesday afternoon.
MEGA MONEY drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday night at 11 p.m. Last night's jackpot was also estimated at $500,000.
The Grey Goose will receive a $500 bonus incentive for selling the winning ticket.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox