Thomasville-- It's not often you see someone holding a million dollar check made out in their name. It's even rarer to see 3 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," explains Steve Massey, District Manager for the Georgia Lottery.
Kay Lowry from Norman Park bought her winning ticket last Friday in Moultrie and nearly ran off the road from shock. She says, "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 under the prize symbol. I thought I had won a free ticket. When I slipped my glasses on and saw it said $1,000,000l I had to pull over." Alvesta Hopkins, a Bainbridge woman raising 2 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," says Hopkins.
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.
More than 1 million students have received HOPE scholarships and almost 900,000 4-year-olds have attended pre-K programs thanks to the Georgia Lottery. "We've given over $9.9 billion so far to education in Georgia," says Massey.
All the winners already have big plans for their money. "I'm going to buy a new lawn mower and a car and share some of the money," says Lowry. As for Hopkins plans: "First thing I'm going to do is to buy me a home."
"We want people to be rewarded, and the more they win the more they play," says Massey. And that makes everyone happy.