A Great Week For Florida Lottery Winners

Written By JR Duren on February 11, 2022 - Last Updated on May 25, 2022
Florida Lottery Players Rake In The Wins

To say it was a good week for Florida Lottery scratcher players is an understatement.

This past week, six players claimed $1 million prizes, a hot streak that’s unmatched in the recent history of the Florida Lottery. One of the winners, Ricky Lansford, a 68-year-old from Sarasota, said he was in a state of unbelief when he found out he won.

“We couldn’t believe it!” Lansford told the Lottery. “My wife and I noticed a lot of people winning $1 million from The Fastest Road to $1,000,000 Scratch-Off game, so we decided to try our luck! Now we’re celebrating our own big win!”

Fastest Road scratcher is literally the fastest road to $1 million

Four of the six $1 million winners played the Florida Lottery Fastest Road to $1 Million scratchers. The four winners bought their tickets in the following cities:

  • Port Saint Joe
  • Gainesville
  • Naples
  • Sarasota

Lansford purchased his ticket at a Shell gas station in Sarasota. He took his winnings in the form of a one-time, lump-sum payment of $790,000.

Fastest Road to $1,000,000 launched in February 2020. The game started with 155 $1 million prizes; 11 remain. One scratcher costs $30, and the odds of winning a $1 million prize are 1-in-270,717.

Gold Rush Limited, $1,000 for Life account for other two big prizes

Hernando resident Frank O’Dell was the fifth $1 million dollar winner this past week. His good fortune came through scratcher game $1,000 for Life.

And good fortune it was, as the $2 ticket offers only eight $1 million prizes at 1-in-4,839,650 odds.

“I’ve never been lucky,” O’Dell told the Lottery. “But I think it’s safe to say that my luck has finally changed and now I’m set for life!”

O’Dell bought his winning ticket at a Circle K in Lecanto.

Lora Tanouis was the last reported $1 million winner. On Tuesday, the Florida Lottery announced she won her massive prize via a Gold Rush Limited scratch-off game.

Tanouis bought her ticket at AZ Shop in New Port Richey. The odds of her million-dollar win were 1-in-2,362,500.

Gold Rush Limited has awarded only six of its 26 $1 million prizes, according to the Florida Lottery.

Scratcher sales contribute to $41 billion in Lottery-funded education dollars for Florida

Amid the flurry of $1 million scratcher winners, the Florida Lottery announced it had passed the $41 billion mark for donations to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF).

“Our latest milestone of $41 billion in contributions to education comes just five months after the Lottery reached its $40 billion milestone, which is truly incredible,” Florida Lottery Secretary John F. Davis said in a statement. “Our goal is that every student in every corner of Florida knows a brighter future is attainable. At the Lottery, we believe education is the catalyst for changing the trajectory of students’ lives, and it begins with us supporting today’s students as they aspire to learn and achieve greatness as tomorrow’s leaders.”

The Florida Lottery transfers a portion of every ticket sold to the EETF. From there, the money is used for the state’s public education system, which includes state colleges and universities. The money also funds the Bright Futures Scholarship Program, which offers college scholarships to Florida high school students. To date, Bright Futures has sent 917,000 to college via the money raised through the Lottery.

Photo by shutterstock.com/RomanSamborskyi
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JR Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey gambling beats for Catena Media. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun. Duren is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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