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$17 Million Florida Lotto Prize Won

9 June 2000

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--(Press Release)--June 8, 2000-- A Sarasota man, who hid his winning FLORIDA LOTTO ticket in a ``big fireproof gun case at an undisclosed location,'' today claimed the top prize from the Saturday, June 3, estimated $17 million LOTTO jackpot.

Joseph Willock, 30, came to Lottery Headquarters late today to claim his winnings in a single-payment cash option of $8,853,327, rather than take the estimated $17 million prize in 30 annual installments of approximately $566,666.(a) Higher-than-expected sales increased the actual jackpot amount.

``When I realized I had the winning numbers the next day after the drawing, I got in my car to drive to my sister's house to tell her,'' said Joseph, who just quit his job at a local car wash. ``I must have stopped at 30 stoplights and checked my numbers every time to make sure I had won!''

Joseph said he bought five Quick Picks for this LOTTO drawing, as he does almost every week. The winning numbers for the June 3, 2000 drawing are: 05 - 15 - 33 - 40 - 46 - 52. The winner bought his lucky ticket at Ready Store (Citgo Gas Station), located at 2201 Bee Ridge Rd. in Sarasota.

``I thought I was dreaming when I realized I had won. I still can't believe its true,'' Joseph said. ``I stored the ticket in my gun case away from my house and kept it there until I came to Tallahassee.''

Joseph said he went out and hired two financial advisors and three attorneys to help him manage his newfound wealth. He said he plans to use most of his winnings for investments, maybe buy a new house later on and a new car.

``I don't plan on going back to work for now because it's a headache. I just want to wake up in the morning, pour a cup of coffee, go out and get my newspaper and pick up my investment check in my mailbox,'' he said.

Joseph is the 623rd FLORIDA LOTTO player to win a jackpot of $1 million or more since the game began in 1988. Seventeen players who have won a LOTTO jackpot either reside in Sarasota County or bought their ticket at a retailer in Sarasota County.

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