Matthew Smith, 20, of Ringgold, won a $20,000 prize playing the Georgia Lottery. Mr. Smith played the instant game Junior Jumbo Bucks – Anniversary Edition, winning a $20,000 top prize.
Mr. Smith claimed his prize on Feb. 24 at the Georgia Lottery District Office in Dalton.
“I had just gotten off of work,” said Mr. Smith, a crew trainer at a fast food restaurant. “I stopped at the gas station for Mayfield ice cream and a Dr. Pepper.”
The Favorite Market #3634, 6966 Nashville St., Ringgold, sold the winning ticket, and Mr. Smith scratched it in the store. “I stared at it for about 30 minutes,” he said. “I didn’t know what to say.”
Mr. Smith intends to save his windfall.
Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $15 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.6 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.3 million four-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.