The largest lottery prizes are won by people who purchase Powerball or Mega Millions tickets, while scratch offs are mostly regarded as a welcomed distraction. The thrills of scratching the ticket right away to see what you won, is pretty much the catalyst that motivates people to purchase these tickets. Every now and then, it is this unique lottery that makes millionaires and this is exactly what happened to a Canastota man.
An inspired decision
James Mason had no intention to purchase lottery tickets, but since he was already in the Peterboro Road Express Mart shopping for milk, he decided to grab a ticket as well. He has been playing the lottery for 25 years, but he doesn’t regard himself as a veteran or even a passionate player, just a regular guy who occasionally puts his luck to the test.
It is easy to imagine his surprise when the clerk confirmed the fact that he is the winner of a $5 million prize and instructed him to present the tickets to the Lottery Customer Service Center in Syracuse. After what was most likely a sleepless night, Mr. Mason did exactly that and lottery officials awarded him the prize. He chose to receive the money over 20 years, in equal increments because he has no intention of splashing out or acquiring something particularly expensive.
No major short-term changes
A paver by trade, the winner said that he has no intention to quit the job, and he is fairly confident that his wife will keep going to work despite this good fortune. He said that they need this kind of structure that a job offers them, and the recently won jackpot won’t change them a bit. They have kids and the parents intend to send them to college, so a part of the money will be spent for covering tuition costs. Saving for college used to be their priority, and this lottery scratch off ticket greatly simplified things.
The short term plans are generous ones, as Mason who has five dogs intends to donate money on a monthly basis for the Wanderers Rest Humane Association. Based in Canastota, this organization creates animal shelters and looks after dogs, so the money will be spent for purchasing food and improving their living conditions. A very small percentage of the 5 millions will be spent on home improvements, and the fact that the jackpot is awarded over 20 years is not the problem, given the fact that the Masons live in a regular home that doesn’t require a makeover.
Check out the Star Trek scratch-off tickets goes live as well.