News Releases 04/01
May [Labor] Day
NR 04-30-01 ... May Day is the name popularly associated with the first day of May, which for centuries has been celebrated by European peoples as a day of fresh spring growth, seasonal renewal and fecundity. May Day stands midway between the long, cold nights of winter and the warm days of plenty of summer, with symbolism and ceremony that reflect its pivotal position. Some people believe that May Day celebrations began with the tree worship of the Druids, while others reckon that they stem from the spring festivals of ancient Egypt and India. But in Europe, May Day revelry probably originated from the rites practiced in honor of Flora, the Roman goddess of springtime. The festival of Floralia saw Romans go out and collect reappearing spring flowers in Flora’s tribute each April.
NR 04-28-01 ... Two players with tickets from Hialeah and Ocala share $184,673 Mega Money jackpot on April 27 !!! Each winner receives $92,337.
Miami Woman claims 50% Share Of $185,647 Mega Money Jackpot
Friday, April 20, a woman from Miami claimed her half share of the $371,294 Mega
Money jackpot from the April 17 drawing at the Florida Lottery District
Office in Miami. Beaming with
happiness, Ana Torres (61) arrived in
the company of her husband Rodrigo and their son Edison to collect her $185,647
"My husband kept telling me that he
felt in his heart that we would be big winners soon and that I would be able to
finally retire," said Ana. "He said this to everybody, even to his
companions at work." Both Ana and her husband work for a janitorial company
and Ana is not in good health.
"I play Fantasy 5 every day and Mega
Money twice a week," said Rodrigo. "I always play the same family
numbers and have many times only missed one number to win the jackpot. But my
wife likes to use Quick Pick for her numbers." The Torreses have four grown
children and three grandchildren.
Rodrigo purchased the winning ticket at
Normandy supermarket, located at 969 Normandy Drive in Miami Beach, where the
couple usually buys their Lottery tickets.
"The day of the drawing I bought my
tickets and also two Mega Money tickets for my wife, which I placed - as usual -
behind a religious figure to which she is very devoted," indicated Rodrigo.
"Next day, and with the information of the Mega Money winning numbers in my
hand, I returned home to check them out. We were dumbfounded to see that we had
all the numbers ... we had finally won big!"
Rodrigo showed up for work the next day
and when he told his co-workers that he had finally won the jackpot, nobody
believed him. "They all thought that if I had really won big I would not be
at work as usual," revealed Rodrigo. "But I had a duty to fulfill,
particularly since I plan to continue working."
Ana and Rodrigo plan to buy a smaller apartment now that all their children are married, pay all their debts and put aside the rest for the future.
Unclaimed $182,845 Mega Money Ticket Due to Expire on May 2
... The Florida Lottery is conducting a search for the holder of an unclaimed
Mega Money ticket worth $182,844.74 and due to expire next week. The jackpot
winning ticket pertains to the 3 Nov 2000 drawing with numbers 9
- 14 - 15 - 30 plus Mega Ball 19. The ticket was purchased in Jacksonville at
the SP Discount Beverage store, located at 7821 103rd St., on 3 Nov 2000 at 8:54
pm, using a Quick Pick option. It will expire on Wednesday, 2 May 2001 at
midnight, if no one claims the jackpot by then.
who may have purchased Mega Money tickets at this retail location are encouraged
to carefully check the numbers on any old tickets they still may have. Some
common places where old tickets may be located include: car consoles, cookie
jars, sun visors, glove compartments, dresser drawers, wallets or purses, suit
pockets, refrigerator magnets, and jewelry boxes.
is the third search for a missing Mega Money jackpot winner undertaken by the
Florida Lottery. The previous two quests were carried out in May and October
2000, respectively, neither one resulting in a winner coming forward,
unfortunately. After launching this third dragnet type search, Lottery Secretary
David Griffin said, “The Lottery is famous for giving away lots of
money. This prize doesn't belong to us, but it belongs to some lucky player and
we want to do everything possible to ensure he or she receives the prize."
winners have 180 days from the drawing date to claim prizes. By law, all
unclaimed prize funds must be returned to the Lottery's prize pool and used for
future prizes or special promotions. Besides asking for assistance from
Florida's news media, the Lottery is placing print advertisements in daily and
weekly local newspapers, as well as notices in retail locations throughout the
103rd St. and north Jacksonville area.
The prize can be claimed at any Lottery District Office or at Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee.
NR 04-25-01 ... One player with ticket from Gainesville wins $155,445 Fantasy 5 jackpot on April 24. This is the 6th largest Fan5 jackpot ever awarded to an individual winner and the 11th Fan5 individual payout to exceed $100,000. It is also the 8th Fan5 jackpot won by a single player.
NR 04-25-01 ... Two players with tickets from Key Largo and Springfield share $374,494 Mega Money jackpot on April 24 !!! Each winner receives $187,247.
NR 04-23-01 ... Please note that the category Lotto Draws: Sorted by starting number has recently been changed to Lotto Draws: Sorted by ascending order. Thereby, the corresponding URLs for the archived pages in this category have also been modified. If you previously bookmarked any of the 13 pages, please re-visit them by clicking on the new links and bookmark them again. Thanks!
NR 04-22-01 ... One player with ticket from Fern Park [Seminole Co.] wins $7 million Lotto jackpot on April 21.
Young Bryceville Man Claims $13 Million Lotto Jackpot
On Wednesday, April 18,
a man from Bryceville [near Jacksonville] arrived at Lottery Headquarters in
Tallahassee accompanied by two friends to claim the $13 million Lotto jackpot
from the April 14 drawing. Robert Sage (32) opted to collect his winnings in
form of 30 annual installments of approximately $475,000 each, instead of
receiving a one-time cash payment of $7,092,952.
"I can retire," said Robert, who
works 65 to 70 hours a week in his family's business. "I want to retire and
I want my mother to retire. She has worked hard for 30 years, so we are
definitely going to sell the business at some point."
Robert said he was not aware of being the
winner until two days after the drawing. After arriving at home late Monday
night, he saw a news report that stated the Lotto jackpot was still unclaimed.
"The numbers looked familiar, so I
went out to my truck and got my tickets," he said. "I checked them,
and I freaked out! I started shaking. I thought I was going to faint."
Robert called some friends and went to see
his mother, whom he had to wake up to help him verify that he was indeed the
winner. "Nobody believed me," he expressed. "I still don't
believe it myself. This is too much -- but it's pretty neat, though! It's like a
Robert conveyed that he could not sleep
after verifying the ticket, so he went to work – at 4:30 in the morning.
Finding a safe place for the ticket he was comfortable with was not an easy
task, either. He moved it from his truck to his wallet, then to a hiding place,
and back to his truck to start the cycle all over again.
"Don't give up playing the lottery
because someday it will be your day. Today it's my day!" said Robert, who
intends to continue playing Lotto.
"I don't really know where I got the
numbers from," he revealed. "I've been playing the same numbers for
four or five years. They could have come from a fortune cookie or something –
I really don't know how I picked those numbers."
Robert bought his lucky ticket at the
Sprint Food Store, located at 11325 West Beaver Street in Jacksonville.
Robert said he intends to enjoy his
winnings by traveling, perhaps returning to school to get a master's degree,
playing tennis, and trying his hand at writing a comic book. He also plans to
buy a sports car and a new house "with a fountain in front."
Robert is the 29th Florida Lotto winner to either reside or purchase a jackpot winning ticket in Duval County, and the 647th winner of more than $1 million since the game began in 1988.
NR 04-19-01 ... Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22, a date which commemorates the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Founded by former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson [Wisconsin], the first Earth Day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts. Earth Day 2001 will be observed in 180 countries around the world through a host of activities and events. To find an event in your neighborhood, click here.
NR 04-18-01 ... Two players with tickets from Miami Beach and Ocala share $371,294 Mega Money jackpot on April 17 !!! Each winner receives $185,647.
Why Is Friday The 13th Considered To Be Unlucky?
... Possible explanations:
1) Because of the inauspicious combination of the day with the number. In ancient times, Friday was considered to be the day of the Goddess "Frida" [in Norse] or "Venus" [in Latin] and 13 was the number associated with the Moon Goddess, since there are 13 lunar cycles in a solar year. (I guess Frida and the Moon didn’t get along too well then?)
2) Philip the Fair [King of France, 1285 - 1314] arrested the Grand Master Jacques de Molay of the Knights Templar on Friday the 13th, 1307. In a well coordinated raid he seized the entire property of the Order of the Templars for his throne. The action was so swift, brutal and efficient that the day has lived on in infamy ever since. Interesting proposition as well. By the way, the next Friday the 13th will be in July, just one day before the 14th of July, which is France’s Bastille Day.
NR 04-11-01 ... Rene F. Verdezas from Miami wins the $569,136 Mega Money jackpot from the April 10 drawing !!! He claimed the prize at the Miami District Office and plans to share it with his only son, Reniel, as well as to pay off his mortgage.
St. Petersburg Couple Claims $3 Million Lotto Jackpot
On Tuesday, April 10, an elderly
couple from St. Petersburg claimed the $3 million Lotto jackpot from the April 4
drawing at Lottery Headquarters in
"I went to the Cumberland store where
I buy all my Lottery tickets and saw they had a sign up that said 'Sold the
Winning Lotto Ticket,'" said Herbert, who retired from New York Telephone
Company and moved to Florida in 1989. "I then decided to go home for lunch
and check my tickets with my wife."
"He came home, and I checked the
numbers with him in the newspaper," said Eleanor, a former homemaker and
retail employee. "I cannot explain the feeling as you're checking your card
with the numbers in the paper, and finally it kind of sinks in, but no, you
think it's a typo. One of the numbers has to be wrong. I'll always remember
April 4 as the day we won the Lotto, but it still hasn't sunk in yet."
In order to confirm that they were indeed
the winners, Herbert went with a friend to the St. Petersburg District Office.
The Office verified their good fortune.
"Not with my luck, I didn't think I
was a winner," said Herbert. "Now we can afford to buy a new house in
Cape Coral to be near our daughter. We're also going to buy a new Lincoln Town
Car for Eleanor, which she has wanted for a long time. Other than that, we're
just going to let it collect interest."
"I only told one person in the mobile
home park where we live that we won the Lotto," Herbert revealed.
"Within about 10 minutes, it had spread to all of the 285 people who live
in our park."
"I called one of my daughters and she
didn't believe me that we had won," said Eleanor. "In fact, when I
called the rest of our children, none of them believed me at first. They all
thought it was an April Fool’s joke." The couple has five grown children.
Herbert bought his winning ticket at the
Cumberland convenience store, located at 5401 Seminole Blvd. in
[Pinellas County], and used a Quick Pick option to choose his lucky numbers.
Winter Haven Restaurant Co-owner Claims $40 Million Lotto Jackpot
NR 04-10-01 ... On Monday, April 9, a man from Winter Haven claimed the $40 million Lotto jackpot from the March 31 drawing at Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee. Albert Miller (42) opted to collect his winnings in form of a single cash payment of $21,845,593 instead of receiving 30 annual installments of approximately $1,333,333 each. [This is the 10th highest Lotto payout ever awarded to an individual winner.]
"I had a headache the night of the drawing and just wanted to go to sleep after I looked at my ticket and saw what I thought were all six winning Lotto numbers," said Albert, who co-owns Bentley's Restaurant and Lounge in Winter Haven. "I didn't realize that I had really won until I looked at the numbers in the local newspaper on Sunday morning. I just went to church and didn't say anything about it then."
Albert was accompanied to Tallahassee by his friend and restaurant partner, Dorothy Adams, who brought the winning numbers first to Albert's attention. "Albert, you've got all the numbers!" she screamed as he was going to sleep. "Albert told me to wait for the newspaper because the numbers on TV could be wrong," Dorothy stated. "All I wanted to do was sit on the curb and wait for the morning newspaper to check the numbers myself."
"I only play for the big money!" said Albert, who has played the Florida Lotto game exclusively since the Florida Lottery started in 1988. "It was pure chance - like getting hit by lightning - that I won. It only takes one dollar to win. If you don't play, you can't win. If you don't win, play anyway so someone else can win."
Albert said he plans to keep working in his restaurant business, which has been a longtime dream. He also expressed that he will keep playing Lotto and that he will use his award to take care of family matters, maybe take a trip to Disney World, and take some golf lessons.
"I only played $3 after I filled up my car with gas and won the Lotto!" said Albert. "I felt this ticket had some energy to it. I noticed the numbers had some connection with me, so I put it in my wallet to keep safe, instead of keeping it in my car as I usually do."
Albert revealed that he had attended three years of pre-medical school at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, before returning to his hometown to start a new career. He said nobody deserves to win more than his friend, Dorothy, because she recently suffered two deaths in her family in separate incidents and now has to care for her quadriplegic son.
"I am happy, very happy," Albert conveyed. "I am spiritually happy. I just want to thank God and give him thanks for all we have. What has happened to us is obviously bigger than I am."
Albert bought his winning ticket at the Sixth Street Spur station, located at 101 Sixth St. in Winter Haven, and used a Quick Pick option - as he usually does - to choose his lucky numbers. He is the 21st Florida Lotto winner to either reside or purchase a jackpot winning ticket in Polk County, and the 645th winner of more than $1 million since the game began in 1988.
Cash 3 Malfunction During 8 April 2001 Televised Draw
... The official
televised Florida Lottery Cash 3 drawing on Sunday, 8 April 2001, evening resulted
in a "foul" when the draw machine malfunctioned during the event.
During the telecast the first number drawn was 4,
but when the second ball was drawn a malfunction occurred, and subsequently a
"foul" was called. Shortly after the conclusion of the televised
drawing, the Lottery held a new drawing off the air which yielded the official
winning numbers for Sunday, 8 April 2001. These numbers are: 8
- 8 - 3 [as reported here].