TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Lottery held the Grand Prize Drawing of the 2015 Million Dollar Replay program with more than 100 semi-finalists and their guests in attendance at the War Memorial in Trenton.
The Million Dollar Replay program is the final drawing event held each year to award huge prizes to holders of non-winning New Jersey Lottery tickets.
The excitement and anticipation in the room was palpable as attendees hoped their name would be drawn as the next New Jersey Lottery millionaire or recipient of another top prize. Fifteen finalists received a share of the $1.5 million prize pool.
Carole Hedinger, New Jersey Lottery Executive Director, opened the event and welcomed all to the festivities. She shared notable moments that transformed the Lottery during its 45-year journey from fledgling start-up to its current status as the fourth largest revenue producer for the state and a source of public entertainment. As such, the Lottery provides vital funding to its beneficiaries that include educational programs, facilities for disabled veterans, centers for developmentally disabled and institutions that make a difference in the lives of New Jersey's residents.
"This is the fifth year that the Million Dollar Replay program has provided New Jersey Lottery players the opportunity to win significant cash prizes with previously non-winning tickets," Hedinger said. "It is thrilling to have the semi-finalists in the audience to experience the anticipation and excitement surrounding the potential of becoming a millionaire or recipient of one of the other significant cash prizes."
Erica Young, New Jersey Lottery Ambassador, and Kaitlyn Cunning, drawing hostess, conducted the drawing. The drawing was performed under the observation of Mercadien Certified Accountants, and the official results will be posted to the New Jersey Lottery website.
The Grand Prize Drawing prizes are:
- One $1,000,000 Grand Prize winner
- Two $100,000 winners
- Three $50,000 winners
- Four $25,000 winners
- Five $10,000 winner
All of the other semifinalists receive a $250 prize for earning a spot in the final drawing.
Shatan McRae Thompson and Laura Palumbo were both present at the event and experienced the thrill of hearing their names called as winners.
"I have been blessed this year," said Thompson. "I was the winner of the television show Sugar Showdown in December and now this." Thompson will be using the winnings to expand her bakery business Tan's Tasty Cakes LLC which specializes in gourmet cupcakes and sweet treats.
Palumbo shared the excitement with her family by her side. " I will be making some responsible choices and use some money to pay for grad school but I also hope to use some toward having adventures," Palumbo shared.
The drawing is a culmination of the year-long program that provides instant ticket game players with the opportunity to turn their non-winning instant tickets into a second opportunity to win big money. This year, the Lottery received more than 8.7 million entries during the four quarters of the program. There were more than 14.4 million tickets entered through the VIP Club Million Dollar Replay entry portal.