Manatee County is the home of one lucky lottery winner and the most recent million-dollar winner in Florida lottery history! In May of this year, a Bradenton woman showed off her luck when she claimed a $1 million lottery jackpot, which she won from a $5 scratch-off ticket. The woman, identified at Shirley Mack, 67, claimed the $1 million prize from the Florida Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee. She reportedly won the prize from the $5 ticket she purchased at a local 7-11.
Other million-dollar winners in the state of Florida over the past few years include Gary Wall from Plantation, Brenda Rivera from Clewiston, Emilio Graveran from Orlando, James Barie from Boca Raton, and Scott Free from St. Augustine. The Florida lottery has also seen a few $2 million winners as well!
Mack and other million-dollar winners are not the only Florida residents to cash in on big lottery tickets. In January of 2018, a twenty-year-old man, Shane Missler, picked up the $450 Mega Millions prize from a lottery ticket purchased at another 7-11, this one in Port Richey, a suburb of Tampa and not that far from Sarasota!
Missler was quoted as saying that he had a feeling he would win, as he just “felt lucky” before the drawing. He accepted the funds through an LLC he set up to protect his winnings, and went with the lottery’s lump sum payout of over $281 million rather than accepting the $450 million prize over the next few decades.
Missler’s $450 million winning is the fourth-largest in Mega Millions history, and the substantial jackpot was boosted by a change in the lottery’s rules that actually made it harder for someone to win. While picking up such a substantial prize is obviously difficult, the Florida Lottery Communications office says that you have a 1 in 4.04 chance of winning at least some prize when you choose to play the lottery.
The Commission has also pointed out that the lottery itself is very important for the state, as it generates a reported $871 million for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) every year, and is said to have produced over $35 billion for Florida schools since its inception.
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