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Georgians get their big pay-out

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April 24, 2008

Thomasville -- 
Three South Georgians are $1 million richer after winning big in Georgia lottery scratch-off games. Lottery officials say there's a good explanation for the unusual event-- more people are playing.

It's not often you see someone holding a million dollar check made out in their name-- Even rarer to see three at the same time?

 "It really is unusual to have that many in one location that quick, and it really goes back to the velocity at which tickets were selling," said District Manager Steve Massey.  

Kay Lowry from Norman Park bought her winning ticket last Friday in Moultrie and nearly ran off the road from shock. "When I first scratched the ticket it was a little blurry because I didn't have my glasses on. I could tell it was a long word. I thought I had won a free ticket.. When I slipped my glasses on and saw it said $1 million I had to pull over."

Alvesta Hopkins, a Bainbridge woman raising two grandchildren couldn't believe her win either.  "I went back into the store and asked the lady, and she told me she was afraid I was right."

Lee County Principal Mary Tedder's husband Terry, also an educator, gave her their ticket as a gift. They support the lottery because of its educational programs, and now its paid them back.

 "We've given over $9.9 billion so far to education in Georgia," said Massey.

They all have big plans for their money.

 "I'm going to buy a new lawn mower and a car and share some of the money," said Lowry. 

"First thing I'm going to do is to buy me a home," Hopkins said.

"We want people to be rewarded, and the more they win the more they play," said Massey.

And that makes everyone happy. More than 1 million students have received HOPE scholarships and almost 900,000 sand 4-year olds have attended pre-K programs thanks to the Georgia Lottery.

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