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Army soldier wins $5 million lottery jackpot

May 10, 2017, 8:04 am

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New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Army soldier wins $5 million lottery jackpotRating:

An Army soldier based in Fort Drum has won a $5 million New York Lottery jackpot.

The state lottery announced Tuesday that 36 year old Jesse Vonderhorst bought the winning scratch-off ticket at the Sunoco on Factory Street in Watertown.

Lottery officials said there will be no formal check presentation because Vonderhorst is deploying from Fort Drum on Wednesday. They didn't know where he was going.

Fort Drum denied that Vonderhorst was being deployed. Officials said he was taking part in an off-installation mission within New York state.

Lottery officials said Vonderhorst, who's from Vancouver, Washington, stopped to gas up his car at the Sunoco station and decided to try his luck on a New York Lottery scratch-off ticket.

He chose a Wild Bonanza Multiplier ticket and scratched it off as soon as he got back to his car.

The single $25 ticket contained the winning combination earning Vonderhorst a $5 million payday.

"I like to play the higher-priced tickets," Vonderhorst said. "I had played enough of the $30 tickets. The $25 ticket had recently had a local winner so I chose the Wild Bonanza Multiplier. I hadn't played it in a while so I took a chance."

Vonderhorst will receive his prize as a one-time lump-sum payment, netting him $3,309,000 after required withholdings.

"I was in shock when I saw the $5,000,000 prize. I went straight home and showed my wife. She asked me where I got the fake ticket," he joked. 

Vonderhorst plans to use the winnings to help out his three daughters and plan a family vacation.

"I'm thinking about taking them to Disney."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Fox 28, Lottery Post Staff

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13 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by American Indian.
Page 1 of 1
Tatototman65's avatar - Lottery-009.jpg

United States
Member #138725
February 4, 2013
2971 Posts



*If you live in IL and want legal regulated online poker... Click on me
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*If you live in Michigan and want legal regulated online poker... Click on me

    MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
    Beautiful Florida
    United States
    Member #5709
    July 18, 2004
    24737 Posts

    Congrats Soldier. Family First. Spend it wisely.!


                                                   "Slander becomes the tool of the loser when the debate is lost." - Socrates.


      United States
      Member #143207
      May 27, 2013
      3824 Posts

      Congrats !

        konane's avatar - wallace
        Atlanta, GA
        United States
        Member #1265
        March 13, 2003
        6193 Posts

        Congratulations!  Party

        Have fun and the best of luck to everyone! Sun Smiley

          music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
          USN United States Navy
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157851
          August 2, 2014
          3959 Posts

          I hope that this win does not interfere with his Army career. This win helps his family. I hope he puts it into his retirement account.


           "We are all in this together!" 

            dpoly1's avatar - driver
            United States
            Member #66139
            October 16, 2008
            1998 Posts


            US Flag

            dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -


            Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

              Marana AZ
              United States
              Member #145337
              August 3, 2013
              253 Posts

              Congratulations!  I spent the summer of '75 at Fort Drum (known as Camp Drum then) and really enjoyed the Watertown area.  Enjoy your winnings and keep safe for the rest of your service commitment.

                United States
                Member #163184
                January 22, 2015
                2439 Posts

                Congratulations from one Soldier to another...retired 20 years ago now.


                Don't know about now, but back then you could get discharged for winning the lottery and some Soldiers did.  There might be stop/loss in effect with our troops spread too thin and the Army might not release him--then again he might want to stay.

                  weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
                  Mcminnville, Oregon
                  United States
                  Member #3013
                  December 13, 2003
                  5090 Posts

                  Congratulations on your big win.  Have fun with the money.-weshar75

                  US Flag

                    ressuccess's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #93160
                    June 23, 2010
                    3141 Posts

                    Wow that's amazing. Congratulations to him.

                    I hope that one $2 ticket is the only one that matches all 5 numbers plus the PB to win the largest PB jackpot in United States history of over $2 Billion Dollars! I hope that one $2 ticket is the only one that matches all 5 numbers plus the Mega Ball to win the largest Mega Millions jackpot in United States history of over $2 Billion Dollars!

                      sully16's avatar - sharan
                      Dr.President Elect
                      United States
                      Member #81738
                      October 28, 2009
                      81603 Posts

                      US FlagCongrats and Thank you for your service.

                      See Ya!

                        New Member
                        West Haven, CT
                        United States
                        Member #181704
                        May 12, 2017
                        3 Posts

                        A perfect time in life to win! Good haul!

                          American Indian's avatar - disney14
                          Mesa, AZ USA
                          United States
                          Member #172123
                          January 16, 2016
                          201 Posts

                          US FlagCongrats and Thank you for your service.

                          I Agree!

                          THAT'S AWESOME!!!!

                          GOD SPEED!!!