Seven years of playing the same lotto numbers paid off big for a Palm City (Martin County) man. Tuesday he redeemed the jackpot ticket from the June 18 Florida Lotto drawing worth an estimated $12 million.
Keith Hansen, 50, a shop foreman from Palm City, traveled to Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee today to collect his prize. He could have received his winnings in 30 annual installments of approximately $400,000(1) per year, but instead he chose a lump-sum payment of $7,902,231.19.
Total ticket sales for this jackpot generated approximately $9.5 million for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund for Florida's schools.
Keith bought his lucky ticket at Publix, located at 2750 S.W. Martin Downs Boulevard in Palm City. The store has received a retailer bonus of $10,000 for selling the winning jackpot ticket. The winning numbers for the June 18, 2003 drawing are: 03 - 08 - 14 - 17 - 27 - 28.
Keith said his winning numbers were all taken from his birthday and the birthdays of other family members. His birthday, just ten days before the June 18 lotto drawing he won, accounts for the number 8 in his winning numbers.
Playing two dollars per drawing, Keith said he has been playing the same numbers for about seven years. His largest previous cash prize was $599 in the Lottery's FANTASY 5 game.
Keith said he discovered he was the winner while dressing for work on the Friday morning following the Wednesday drawing. He said he got excited and even started to shake when he noticed a morning TV news report that said the winning ticket was sold in his city, and at the same Publix where he buys his tickets. After he went down to his car, got his ticket from the glove compartment, and returned to his apartment to check his numbers with the winning numbers printed in the newspaper, he really began to shake.
"I was actually shaking," Keith said. "I couldn't believe it until I went over the numbers for the fifth time!"
Not only did Keith go to work that morning anyway, he also plans to continue working in his shop foreman job. He said the only plan he has now for his winnings is to move out of his apartment and into a house of his own.
Keith is the 9th Florida Lotto winner either to reside in or purchase a winning ticket in Martin County and the 726th LOTTO winner to win at least $1 million since 1988.