"I was crying and laughing, and my knees went weak when I realized I had won" - Margaret Ann Welch, Florida Lotto Jackpot Winner
A custodian for the Brevard County School Board, who's been playing Florida Lotto since it started 15 years ago, today claimed the estimated $6 million Lotto jackpot from the Saturday, Nov. 15 drawing.
Margaret Ann Welch, 50 of Cocoa, traveled to Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee this morning to collect her prize. She could have received her winnings in 30 annual installments of approximately $200,000(a) per year, but instead chose a lump-sum payment of $3,574,528.68.
Total ticket sales for this jackpot generated approximately $4.39 million for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund for Florida's schools.
"When I checked my numbers in the newspaper on Monday after the drawing, I saw that I hit all six numbers, and just said to myself 'Oh my God,'" said Margaret, who doesn't know yet if she will quit her job with the school board. "After I looked at the numbers again, I didn't know what was going on. I was crying and laughing, and my knees went weak when I realized I had won."
Margaret bought her lucky ticket at the F & T Mini Market, located at 601 S. Fiske Boulevard in Cocoa. The store will receive a $10,000 retailer bonus for selling the winning jackpot ticket. The winning numbers for the Nov. 15, 2003 drawing, selected by "Quick Pick", are: 09 - 18 - 24 - 30 - 35 - 42.
"I've played Cash 3 and Play 4 before, and won several thousand dollars, but never the amount of money that I won from playing Lotto," Margaret said. "I've been playing Lotto since it started in 1988, and I always use 'Quick Pick' numbers for my tickets."
The winner said she kept the tickets she bought for this drawing in the armrest of her car. She usually waits a few weeks to check all of her tickets at the same time, but for some reason, she decided to check her tickets just a couple of days after the drawing this time.
"I plan to use some of my winnings to build a new house," Margaret said. "I don't have any other plans for my money right now."
Margaret is the 30th Florida Lotto winner to either reside in or purchase a winning ticket in Brevard County, and the 738th Lotto winner to win at least $1 million since 1988.