Seven Florida Lottery Players Win $1 Million This Week

Written By Steve Schult on April 22, 2022
Florida lottery players

Florida lottery players had an unbelievable week as seven people collected seven-figure payouts this week from scratch-off tickets.

It’s one of the best weeks lottery players have had in quite some time. In February, six players took home at least $1 million, and it was referred to as a hot streak that was ‘unmatched in recent history.’

Four players from South Florida won at least $1 million, while two others were from Central Florida and one was from Jacksonville.

All seven opted to take the lump-sum payment. As a result, they ended up with slightly less than the ticket said they won. If they had taken gradual payouts over time, the players would’ve ended up with the total amount.

Gold rush pays out big for Florida lottery players

Of the seven winners, three of them earned their paydays from the GOLD RUSH LIMITED scratch-off game. All three were from South Florida.

They bought their tickets in the following cities:

  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Tamarac
  • Plantation

Pamela Gaskin, 67, won the grand prize of $5 million. The Fort Lauderdale native took a lump-sum payment of $3.96 million. She purchased the winning ticket at a deli in her hometown.

Vincent Pugliese, 33, won $1 million from the game. The Plantation native took a lump-sum payment of $795,000. He told lottery officials that he planned to use the money to invest in real estate.

Frank Tuzzo, 35, also won $1 million and took a one-time payment of $795,000.

Marine Corps veteran to buy new golf cart with Florida lottery score

James Musselwhite, a Marine Corps veteran from Sarasota, claimed a $1 million prize from the $5,000,000 LUCK game. The scratcher launched in September 2019 and carries a $20 price tag to play. Musselwhite collected the one-time sum of $760,000.

“I guess the only thing I really want now is a new golf cart,” Musselwhite told Florida lottery officials.

With an extra $760,000 in his pocket, he can ride in style during his golf outings.

Polk county man to treat his wife to her dream home with the winnings

For Tommy Wilkinson, the fastest way to an upgraded home was through THE FASTEST ROAD TO $1,000,000 scratch-off. The 48-year-old won the top prize and took a lump sum of $790,000.

“The first person I called was my wife,” said Wilkinson. “As soon as she picked up the phone, I told her she was finally going to get her dream house.”

Wilkinson bought the ticket from a Grab-N-Go in Winter Haven. The retailer receives a $2,000 bonus from the Florida Lottery for selling the ticket.

The other big winners from this week were Artur Kalemi and Pauline Salmon. Kalemi won $1 million from the 500X THE CASH ticket, while Salmon won the top prize in the 50X THE CASH game.

Each left the Lottery offices with a check for $820,000.

Florida Lottery players continue to fund the education programs

Since its inception, the Florida Lottery contributed more than $41 billion to the state’s various education programs. The revenue from these sales is used to fund the Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.

During the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the Lottery generated more than $1.3 billion for the Trust Fund. Furthermore, 75% of the lottery’s ticket sales come from scratch-off games.

Photo by Shutterstock / pathdoc
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Steve Schult

Steve Schult is a veteran of the gambling industry with more than a decade of experience covering the space. After earning his journalism degree from Marist College, the New York native began covering high-stakes poker tournaments and the U.S. gambling industry for various outlets. Following stints as a writer for Card Player Media, Bluff Magazine and the World Series of Poker, Schult will serve as the Managing Editor for PlayFL.

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