VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Donald Simpson won a $500,000 top prize playing the instant game The Big $5 Ticket last week.
Simpson, 49, claimed his prize April 17 at the Georgia Lottery District Office in Tifton.
He scratched off the ticket sitting in his car. “I started hyperventilating. It was crazy,” he said. “I was just barely able to drive. I think it's great, but it still hasn't sunk in yet,” he said.
Simpson has two adult children, ages 18 and 25. “I plan to buy a house and get something for my son to drive since he's graduating soon,” he said. “I'll probably go vacationing somewhere.”
VASU Discount Beverage, 321 N. Saint Augustine Road in Valdosta, sold the winning ticket.
Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $16.2 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia's Pre-K Program.
More than 1.7 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.3 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.