Imagine stopping by your local Publix and buying a $10 scratch-off ticket worth a $4.66 million one-time payment.
That’s exactly what happened to Howard Tenen, a 70-year-old Plantation resident who purchased a $5,000 a Week for Life scratcher at his local Publix grocery store this past week.
The Florida Lottery winner chose a lump-sum payment of $4.66 million in lieu of $5,000 a week for life, according to the Florida Lottery. Tenen’s lump-sum choice may have been influenced by math. The average lifespan in the U.S. is around 78 years, according to the CDC. Tenen’s post-tax payment would’ve lasted nearly 18 years if paid out weekly, or 10 years beyond the average life expectancy.
Three $5,000-a-week prizes remain
$5,000 a Week for Life offers four $5,000-a-week-for-life prizes. Three of those prizes remain, according to Florida Lottery records. The odds of winning the grand prize are 1-in-5.5 million.
Players can also win prizes of $10,000, $5,000, and $1,000, along with more than 5 million prizes of $10 to $20.
While winning the $5,000-a-week prize is a long shot, the odds of winning any prize are much more favorable: 1-in-3.5.
The game includes several multipliers:
- A coin symbol wins the prize shown for the symbol.
- A 2x symbol doubles the prize shown
- A 10x symbol multiplies the prize shown by 10
- A moneybag symbol wins all 15 prizes listed on the ticket
Jacksonville woman wins $500 a week prize
The Florida Lottery launched $5,000 a Week for Life earlier this month along with a lower-stakes game: $500 a Week for Life. Just one day after Tenen’s win, the lottery announced a 69-year-old Jacksonville woman won the $500 a Week for Life jackpot.
The woman purchased her $1 ticket at a Winn-Dixie near Jacksonville’s Argyle Forest neighborhood. She chose a lump-sum of $465,000 instead of the weekly payments.
The win was the first jackpot claimed; there are three remaining. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1-in-5.9 million.
Lottery continues to invest in Florida education
For those that played $5,000 a Week for Life or $500 a Week for Life and didn’t win, their money wasn’t spent in vain, per se.
The Lottery uses its revenue to fund Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The program provides scholarships to Florida high-school graduates for Florida post-secondary institutions. The Lottery has contributed more than $39 billion since the program’s inception.
Scratch-off games, in particular, play an important part in the lottery’s education funding initiatives. The games account for 75% of the Lottery’s ticket sales and, in fiscal year 2019-2020, they contributed more than $1 billion to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.