A trip to Publix netted a North Port man $6 million.
Even after buying the winning ticket, Ronald Tourville forgot to check the numbers. He had forgotten about his tickets until Sunday night when he opened his wallet and saw them. He then logged onto the Florida Lottery's Web site to check his numbers and discovered he was the winner.
According to lottery spokeswoman Shelisha C. Durden, Tourville, 48, claimed the estimated $6 million Florida Lotto jackpot. Instead of accepting payments over several years, Tourville chose the one-time lump-sum payment option for his winnings, in the amount of $3,341,189.35.
Tourville, who declined to comment Monday, purchased his winning ticket at Publix, 19451 Toledo Blade Blvd., in Port Charlotte. The store will receive a bonus incentive of $15,000 for selling the winning ticket.
A Publix manager said that although she was not allowed to comment, employees were "excited."
Tourville's fiancée, who was unnamed in the press release, went to the store with him Saturday to pick up a couple of items. While waiting for her in the store, he decided to buy a ticket.
On Sunday, Tourville was in "a state of disbelief," after checking his ticket numbers — 3, 4, 15, 39, 44 and 48. Tourville immediately called his fiancée into the room and asked her to confirm the numbers on the Lottery's Web site and on his ticket. She confirmed that he had indeed won the jackpot, Durden stated in a press release.
"I was very pleased," Tourville was quoted as saying. He and his fiancée plan to purchase a new home.
"I'm grateful," said Tourville. "We've always lived pretty decent lives, but now we won't have to worry about any bills."
Total ticket sales for this jackpot generated approximately $4.2 million for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
Since 1988, the Florida Lottery has contributed more than $15 billion to the EETF, benefiting Florida students and schools, as well as funding more than 262,000 Bright Futures scholarships.
Tourville is the 856th Florida Lotto winner since 1988. The next Florida Lotto drawing will be held 11 p.m. on Wednesday with an estimated $3 million jackpot.