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Largest Lotto South winner ignored wife to play lottery

Lotto SouthLotto South: Largest Lotto South winner ignored wife to play lottery

Once a week for the past three years, Rome (GA) millworker William Griffin laid aside $1 to purchase a Quick Pick lottery ticket, despite his wife's objections.

Last Saturday, Griffin — seeing that the Lotto South jackpot had reached $27 million — decided to splurge, plunking down $5 for five chances. It ended up being worth more than $15 million to Griffin, who won the largest Lotto South payout in history.

Griffin's prize will stand as Lotto South's largest. The Georgia-Kentucky-Virginia lottery game is being retired at the end of the month, more than four years after it began, in favor of a new contest that pays winners $1,000 a week for the rest of the winner's life.

The Lotto South jackpot for tonight's drawing is estimated at $2.5 million.

"I almost fainted," Griffin said when he learned of his outrageous fortune. "I called my 13-year-old son over to verify the numbers," he said.

Christopher Griffin was unfazed, according to his father: "Yes, Dad, they match ... so what?"

His wife, Rita, a secretary for an adult retirement community, was at first doubtful of her husband's newfound riches. "I called my wife and she didn't believe me," said Griffin, who beat the odds of about 14 million-to-one.

"I thought he was having a heart attack," his wife of 19 years responded. "He was breathing heavy and could hardly get the words out."

Both Griffins were breathing easier Friday as they held an oversized novelty check for $15,418,008 (the cash option total of the jackpot before taxes). No more counting pennies, as Rita Griffin put it. More important, no more worries about paying for their son's college tuition.

"That's been the main thing that's been hanging over our heads," Rita Griffin said. Before, they were betting on their 17-year-old son, Tristan, a senior at the private Darlington School in Rome, earning a HOPE scholarship, but "I don't think we'll need that anymore," William Griffin said.

The Rome native has worked as a millwright at the Temple-Inland Inc. paper mill for 32 years. He's not sure whether he'll return.

"I'm on vacation now," said Griffin, 49. "All they know is that I'm going to be on vacation for awhile."

His wife was less circumspect about her future. "I'm retired," she said with a smile when asked if she'd be returning to work.

As for the lottery, Rita Griffin said she's glad her husband ignored her advice and bought the ticket.

"She's not about the lottery," William Griffin said, recalling her needling: "You're never going to win, so why play?"

Atlanta Journal Constitution

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23 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
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LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
Tennessee
United States
Member #7853
October 15, 2004
11338 Posts
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Posted: January 12, 2006, 6:40 am - IP Logged

i love stories like these.it proves that we all have a chance if we stick to our guns,ignore the taunts and never give up.....if he would've lost she would've been on him about blowing 5 bucks.wow what a difference 15 million makes......

    s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
    Hard Luck, Ak
    United States
    Member #23472
    October 13, 2005
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    Posted: January 12, 2006, 6:42 am - IP Logged

    Thats nice!, I hope Mr. Griffin and his family all the happiness in the world and I hope that they are smart with their windfall.  I amsure that his wife is glad that he did not listen to her objections and continue to purchase those tickets week after week.  I can only hope to one day experience that feeling he haves right now. Good luck and God bless!

      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
      mid-Ohio
      United States
      Member #9
      March 24, 2001
      19831 Posts
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      Posted: January 12, 2006, 6:44 am - IP Logged

      As for the lottery, Rita Griffin said she's glad her husband ignored her advice and bought the ticket.
      "She's not about the lottery," William Griffin said, recalling her needling: "You're never going to win, so why play?"

      When this game is retired at the end of the month, there will be lots of other wives who thought as Rita Griffin that will be telling their unlucky husbands "Didn't I tell you, you were never going to win that game?" and they will have been proved right.

       

       * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
         
                   Evil Looking       

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        23275 Posts
        Online
        Posted: January 12, 2006, 7:05 am - IP Logged

        As for the lottery, Rita Griffin said she's glad her husband ignored her advice and bought the ticket.
        "She's not about the lottery," William Griffin said, recalling her needling: "You're never going to win, so why play?"

        When this game is retired at the end of the month, there will be lots of other wives who thought as Rita Griffin that will be telling their unlucky husbands "Didn't I tell you, you were never going to win that game?" and they will have been proved right.

         

        LOL true.

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          BaristaExpress's avatar - BaristaExpressMX zpsfb0d8b5d.png
          Magnolia, Delaware
          United States
          Member #18795
          July 20, 2005
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          Posted: January 12, 2006, 8:38 am - IP Logged

          God help my wife if she was telling me I'd never win every time I bought my tickets and then I won the jackpot! I'd remind her (at each drawing time) about her negativity as I was spending the money as I wished, when I wished! I'd make sure she got her weekly $5 dollar lottery ticket allowance to play the lottery with! ROFL 

          She'd definitely wish she had been more supportive in a positive manner, if not at the very least somewhat optimistic that it could happen to me just as well as the next person! 

          Keep dreaming the impossible dream, it just may come true! Thumbs Up

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            Coastal Georgia
            United States
            Member #2653
            October 30, 2003
            1866 Posts
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            Posted: January 12, 2006, 8:41 am - IP Logged

            I don't have that problem with my wife- she's just as dedicated as I am to the pursuit of the elusive jackpot. 

             

                                           

                          

             

             

              Avatar

              United States
              Member #972
              December 30, 2002
              465 Posts
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              Posted: January 12, 2006, 11:53 am - IP Logged

              >Griffin's prize [$15,418,008] will stand as Lotto South's largest. The Georgia-Kentucky-Virginia lottery game is being retired at the end of the month, more than four years after it began, in favor of a new contest that pays winners $1,000 a week for the rest of the winner's life.

              You'd have to live 296 years to get to $15,400,000 getting $1000 a week. Can that really be true?  And yet $1000 a week sounds like so much money.

                Avatar
                Coastal Georgia
                United States
                Member #2653
                October 30, 2003
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                Posted: January 12, 2006, 3:09 pm - IP Logged

                tg636 said:

                You'd have to live 296 years to get to $15,400,000 getting $1000 a week. Can that really be true?  And yet $1000 a week sounds like so much money.

                 

                Win for life has a cash option of $520,000.

                That would be the way to go if you hit it....

                 

                                               

                              

                 

                 

                  Avatar
                  Sparta, NJ
                  United States
                  Member #18331
                  July 9, 2005
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                  Posted: January 12, 2006, 6:51 pm - IP Logged

                  One thing for sure, there could never be a sitcom based on this.  In every TV show, the wife is always right and the husband is the bumbling oaf; placing his tail beween his legs and admiting he cannot survive without doing it her way.

                  Cheers

                  |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

                  I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

                    TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
                    A long and winding road
                    United States
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                    June 10, 2005
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                    Posted: January 12, 2006, 7:19 pm - IP Logged

                    I subscribe to Baristas' commentary. If your not going to be supportive during the play then dont expect to get the pay!. Unfortunately the laws are such that the spouse still gets half..

                    I'd go so far as to say...Um dear, Keep working, you still have your HALF of the bills to pay. *wink*

                    (This commentary is not to ruffle the feathers of those who do have supportive spouses or are married, its merely my opinion on how I would probably handle things)

                    ~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

                    christmas holly jolly numbers: 255,303,6911, 474,477 silver:47,gold:79.

                      dphillips's avatar - littleuns
                      Albuquerque, New Mexico
                      United States
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                      June 18, 2004
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                      Posted: January 12, 2006, 9:02 pm - IP Logged

                      What a story and the good news could not have happened to a nicer couple.

                      He had been playing 3 years?  What about people who have been playing for 5, 7, or 10 years...and haven't been lucky, yet!  Sorta reminds you of the lottery winner who complained he had been playing months...when he hit the big one!  Months -- how could a person even think about posting months -- compared to years?  Playing the lottery for months and winning is, in my opinion, a treat!  Gee, ain't life grand!

                       

                       

                      See Ya!-- Bye, bye!  When you win, may you glow as brightly as theSun Smiley

                        mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

                        United States
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                        October 21, 2005
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                        Posted: January 12, 2006, 11:06 pm - IP Logged

                        Why play?  'cause there is always that chance that the poor lotto-er will WIN!  Glad you won! PartyNEVER tell the dreamer to stop dreaming! Hurray!

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                          Huntsville AL
                          United States
                          Member #16531
                          June 1, 2005
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                          Posted: January 13, 2006, 1:21 am - IP Logged

                          God help my wife if she was telling me I'd never win every time I bought my tickets and then I won the jackpot! I'd remind her (at each drawing time) about her negativity as I was spending the money as I wished, when I wished! I'd make sure she got her weekly $5 dollar lottery ticket allowance to play the lottery with! ROFL 

                          She'd definitely wish she had been more supportive in a positive manner, if not at the very least somewhat optimistic that it could happen to me just as well as the next person! 

                          when i told her that I won I would also tell her to go upstairs and pack for the trip.  She would say for the mountains or the beach? My response!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't care just get the He!! out

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                            Coastal Georgia
                            United States
                            Member #2653
                            October 30, 2003
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                            Posted: January 13, 2006, 10:58 am - IP Logged

                            Wow, tough crowd !!! 

                            I would just remind my wife the reason I kept playing against her better judgement was because I thought one day I would hit the jackpot.

                            After the win: every time I bought something extravagant or WE went somewhere nice it would be a reminder of just how :

                            smart

                            stubborn, or

                            stupid

                            I am.

                            Do we men realize just how lucky this guy is ? Yes, he was lucky to win, but even better, he was able to tell his wife "I told you so" and mean it !!!!

                            Carry on, dude !!!!!