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Katy Resident Claims $4 Million
Lotto Texas Jackpot

Friday, March 29, 2002

The Texas Lottery paid RAS Trust the first installment of the $4 million Lotto Texas jackpot it won for the drawing on March 6. The trustee is Ronnie Schriefer of Katy.

The first annuity share paid was in the amount of $160,000. The remaining 24 payments in the same amount will be made on March 15 each year.

Available Funds for 6 of 6 Winner
Advertised Jackpot: $4 Million
Total Sales in "Roll:" $3,763,437

6 of 6 share $1,412,493
Reserve + $41,398
3 of 6 Excess + $5,543
Total Funds Available To Pay Winner = $1,459,434
Cost to Pay Winner - - $2,201,302
Negative Balance For TLC <$741,868>

M & C Food Store, 20230 Franz Road, Unit A, in Katy sold the winning Quick Pick ticket. The retailer is eligible to receive a one-percent bonus of $40,000 for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.

The winning numbers drawn were: 45-01-40-11-30-39.

$13 Million Lotto Texas Jackpot Claimed


March 22, 2002

The Texas Lottery paid Texzona Investments, Ltd., the first installment of the $13 million Lotto Texas jackpot it won for the drawing on March 2. The managing partners are Penny Carolyn Elkins and Franklin Paul Hurst. Ms. Elkins serves as the Registered agent as well..

The first annuity share paid was in the amount of $520,000. The remaining 24 payments in the same amount will be made on March 15 each year.

The TLC's Financial Aspect of the Win
Total Sales: $18,018,383

6 of 6 share
(37.532% of sales)
$6,762,660
Reserve + $198,202
3 of 6 Excess + $33,911
Total Funds Available
To Pay Winner
= $6,994,773
Cost to Pay Winner - - $7,212,275
Negative Balance For TLC <$217,502>

Handi Stop #19, 9721 Jones Road in Houston sold the winning self picked ticket. The retailer is eligible to receive a one-percent bonus of $130,000 for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.

The winning numbers were 51-04-52-27-17-25.

Second Time’s The Charm
For Cameron Texas Two Step Winner

March 15, 2002

Sometimes you have to play your numbers over and over to win. At least, that's what many past winners say they've done, but few have said the second time was the charm that won the prize.

That's what happened to Gwendolyn E. Kelley of Cameron who claimed a $1.5 million Texas Two Step jackpot today. She played the same set of Quick Pick numbers that she originally bought back in January.

"I asked my son-in-law, Michael, to buy me a few Quick Picks for the draw on February 8, because the prize was pretty good, $1.5 million," she said. "I gave him an old ticket of five Quick Picks I'd had in my pocket since the January 4 drawing, and he bought me the same numbers. I made sure he got me a couple of extra tickets, too, just in case."

The "just in case" wasn't necessary, as the numbers 7-16-33-35 and bonus number 10 all rang true the second time Kelley played them. And even though the ticket was a Quick Pick originally, one could say she selected her numbers for this drawing.

"I saw the winning numbers that night on KVUE-TV, channel 24 in Austin, and even though one of my sons kept telling me my ticket matched the numbers on TV, I still couldn't believe it," she said. "In fact, when I finally got to bed that night, I still wasn't sure. It was too hard to believe."

The facts didn't lie, however. When Kelley had a clerk check her ticket at the 4th Street Shell, 300 W. 4th in Cameron, where the tickets were purchased, she got the "go-to-Austin" sign from the terminal.

Kelley worked as a presser at the DeLuxe Cleaners for 25 years. She has been retired for seven years.

The mother of 10 says she wants to do several things with her winnings.

"First, I'm going to help my children, and then I'm going to buy a house," she said. "After that, I'll invest what's left."

Kelley also has 23 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

"My children are my greatest accomplishment," Kelley said.

Poynor Man Doesn’t Let The Grass Grow Under His Feet
Claims Lotto Jackpot From March 9, 2002 Lotto Drawing

March 12, 2002

Not one to let time slip away from him, Thomas L. Grayson of Poynor decided today would be a good day to claim his $4 million jackpot prize from last Saturday's Lotto Texas drawing.

"Now, we'll take one day at a time," said Grayson. "Like a river, go whichever way it flows."

The soon-to-be 54-year-old Poynor resident is a regular Lotto Texas player. According to Grayson, he spends $5 every Wednesday and Saturday, and only misses a drawing every once in awhile.

The winning Quick Pick ticket was purchased at Judy's Kountry Kitchen located at Highway 175 at east intersection 315 in Poynor. The store is the only lottery retailer in Poynor, which has a population of just over 250 people. For selling the jackpot-winning ticket, Judy's Kountry Kitchen owners are eligible to receive a bonus of one percent, $40,000.

"I went to Judy's on Sunday morning, and they had a printout that read one winning ticket had been sold in Poynor," Grayson explained. "I got a printout of the numbers and compared them to my ticket and then told everyone in the store, 'It was me – I won it.' "

It's hard to keep such good news under wraps in this small town. The storeowner immediately went across the street and told Grayson's son and daughter-in-law. Grayson then told his mother and second son about the family's windfall; he drove to his third son's house and told him; then went to his own home to let his only daughter know. All this time Grayson still hadn't told one important person – his wife, Lois Gardiner Grayson.

"I was at the hospital in Palestine waiting for a family member that was having a baby," said Lois. "He never called to tell me what was going on."

Instead, Grayson told everyone else not to tell, and showed up at the hospital with a video camera. Most of the family already knew about the winning ticket and managed to keep the secret.

"I wanted to get the whole thing on tape, her reaction when I finally told her," said Grayson. "She didn't believe me at first though because I'm always pulling practical jokes."

Grayson's wife kept asking him, "What's the joke, what's wrong with the ticket?"

"I kept waiting for him to tell me it wasn't real," Lois said. "He just kept saying, 'We won.' "

After the disbelief went away, the reality set in. The family called the last member not present for the entire event. The Graysons have a son-in-law in his final stages of Army training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

"He thought we were joking, too," said Grayson. "Me and him always play jokes on people."

Grayson chose the 25-year annuity payment option. He will receive an initial payment of $160,000, and will receive the same amount every March 15th for the next 24 years for a total payout of $4,000,000 - the advertised amount.

Available Funds for March 9, 2002
6 of 6 Winner
How the TLC Came Out

6 of 6 share from sales $1,539,692
Reserve Fund + $45,126
3 of 6 Excess Funds + $29,846
Total Funds Available To Pay Winner = $1,614,664
Costs to Pay Winner - $2,192,846
Negative Balance For TLC <$578,182>

Asked about any other plans for the future, Grayson told lottery officials, "Keep all this on file, it'll all be same a couple of months from now when we win again."

"The only difference is she'll know sooner," he added and pointed to his wife.

The winning numbers drawn were: 42-34-33-06-48-41.

Duncanville Winner Claims $13 Million

Feb. 27, 2002

Brentwood Serenity Partners, Ltd., of Duncanville received payment for winning the $13 million Lotto Texas jackpot on Saturday, February 16. Brentwood Serenity Management Company, LLC, is the general partner. Sandra Swearingen is the president of the company.

The winning Quick Pick ticket was purchased with a Cash Value Option, which gives the winner the net present value of the jackpot, approximately half of the advertised jackpot. The winner's prize totaled $7,328,006.40 before taxes.

For this win, there was $6,889,732 in the 6 of 6 prize pool; $201,926 was held in reserve; and the 3 of 6 prize pool held an additional $53,472 in excess funds. This means the TLC paid out of pocket $182,876 to this winner. This was done because they guarantee the amount they advertise or the amount allocated from sales - whichever figure is the highest.

For selling the jackpot-winning ticket, the 7-Eleven #1611-30423 located at 103 S. Cedar in Duncanville, is eligible to receive a bonus of $130,000, one percent of the advertised jackpot.

The winner requested minimal publicity.

The winning numbers were 40-4-10-2-20-43.

Last Minute Decision To Play Pays Off

Feb. 20, 2002

Luis Uribe of Carrollton received $2.8 million for a quick decision he made while stopping at Quiktrip #903 in Dallas to buy cigarettes.

"I thought I may as well get some Lotto tickets too while I was there," Uribe said. "I just decided to play all of a sudden and it turned out I'm a winner."

Uribe's Quick Pick ticket was one of two jackpot winning Lotto Texas tickets sold for the drawing held Saturday, February 2nd, worth an estimated $10 million. He chose the Cash Value Option and received a total payout of $2,806,986.

(Note: It costs a total of $5,613,972 to get a return of $10 million over 25 years. Since there's only $5,109,641 in the prize pool, and it required an additional $49,377 to pay the 3 of 6 winners from this roll, (funds come from the Reserve Fund) this only left $100,378 in excess funds to cover the 6 of 6 win. The bottom line is, the TLC was out an additonal $403,953 to cover this win because they are guaranteeing to pay the amount advertised.)

"The day after the drawing I had to go the store to get ice, and I got the results while I was there. Later on when I got home, I decided I better check my numbers and I couldn't believe what I saw," said Uribe. "I called my father-in-law and my brother-in-law to see if they would go to another store and get the numbers also."

Uribe's in-laws called back later to confirm what he had already seen. "They told me I had won," he said. "At first I thought they were just reading the numbers I had given them back to me. It took me awhile to believe it."

Uribe and his wife, Angelica, are expecting their first baby in a few months and he explained how this money would help with future plans.

"I'd like to go to school and study business management," he said. "One day, I want to own my own store and manage it. Other than that, we haven't really thought about everything else yet."

The retailer, Quiktrip #903, is located at 2968 Forest Lane, and is eligible to receive a bonus of one-percent --$50,000 -- for selling one of the two jackpot winning Lotto tickets.

Max Shannon of the Humble/Atascocita area claimed the other jackpot-winning ticket on Friday, February 8th. Shannon purchased his ticket at the Albertson's located at 7506 FM 1960 East in Atascocita. He elected the 25-year annuity option, and received an initial payment of $200,000. He will receive the same amount every February 15th for the next 24 years, for a total prize of $5,000,000.

"This has changed my life," Uribe said. "I would recommend playing to everybody."

The winning numbers drawn were 02-10-21-29-30-18.

La Porte Couple Collects $27 Million

February 13, 2002

Debbie Couch recently acquired a fire-proof safe. Her son, Andy, is a volunteer fireman in LaPorte and gave it to her the night the ticket she bought won the $27 million Lotto Texas jackpot.

"He got real excited about me winning, so he ran out to Wal-Mart and bought me a new safe," she said. "We only used it the weekend we won, because we put that ticket in the bank first thing Monday."

Couch was watching Houston's Channel 13 (KTRK-TV) when she learned that one of her 10 tickets held the six winning numbers for the drawing that night, January 19.

"At first, I thought the '25' was a '52'" she said. "I got my numbers kind of turned around, I was so excited. In fact, my knees were shaking."

The excitement quotient at the Couch residence was already elevated that night. The family was watching the New England Patriots battle it out with the Oakland Raiders for the AFC championship in a near-blinding snowstorm.

"That was a great game, but I had to change channels to find out what the numbers were," she said. "When I saw the numbers come across the screen, I could hardly believe it."

The numbers on the TV screen made Couch jump. "Then I just started screaming," she said.

Her husband, David, had told her he would memorize the last three winning numbers. She was in charge of the first three. They each knew they had won at least $5.

"Then I told him, 'Don't touch the ticket,' " she said. "Andy saw the numbers on the ticket and decided it was time to have a fire-proof safe in the house. That's when he ran out to the store, just as the game went into overtime.

"My parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in May," Couch said. "I'm planning to do something very special for them."

Couch is an office manager for a Deer Park-area business. She has worked at the same place for 30 years.

The Texas Lottery paid the C.A.D.D. Limited Partnership $15.1 million, the amount of the Cash Value Option jackpot prize. Debra A. and David L. Couch are the general partners. They are from LaPorte.

The cost for a return of $27 million over a 25 year period is $15,131,307.60. But, there's only $14,642,738 in the prize pool for this win meaning the TLC will be out an additional $488,569.60 to make good on the advertised amount. Even if you take the 2% in reserve and the funds allocated but not needed to pay the 3 of 6 winners, which totals $401,687 in excess funds, the TLC was still out $86,882 to cover this win.

The Quick Pick ticket was purchased at the Handi Stop #74, 612 Center Street, in Deer Park. The retailer is eligible to receive a bonus of $270,000.

The winning numbers were 4-8-19-22-25-53.

Crossing The Red River Pays Off For Oklahoma Man

Feb. 6, 2002

Ken Ontko of Oklahoma City claimed his Lotto Texas jackpot prize from the drawing held Wednesday, January 23rd. The drawing was worth an estimated $4 million. Ontko chose the Cash Value Option, which gives winners a one-time lump sum amount equaling approximately half of the jackpot. The total payout for the drawing is $2,226,038.40.

As you can see from the amount paid to the winner, it cost $2,226,038.40 to get a return of $4 million. This means the TLC overpaid this winner by $813,662.40 because there was only $1,412,376 in the prize pool. 6 of 6 winners are suppose to receive 37.532% of total sales - total sales for this drawing were $3,763,124. Even if the TLC takes the 2% held in reserve from this drawing - which was $41,394 - and if they took the funds allocated but not needed to pay the 3 of 6 winners which was $767 - this only totals $42,161 in excess funds. Bottom line is, the TLC was out $771,501.40 to cover this $4 million payout.

The reason I make this point is because the TLC is currently attempting to write it into the rule that they will pay the amount they advertise which is what they have been doing since I started posting the financial data on my web site. Prior to that, it was a hit and miss thing - if you know what I mean. Anyway, players oppose this rule change because we can see how the TLC could "accidentally" under-estimate larger jackpots just to off-set losses like this one ... though the TLC claims that won't happen .... I wonder, how many Enron employees bought more stock based on managements assurance that things were peachy? In my business, I agree to payout a set percentage of sales - this must be wrong though. Maybe the TLC is missing their boat, they should start teaching accounting procedures! :))

The Quick Pick ticket was purchased at Love’s Country Store #217 located at I-35 and S.R. 156 in Sanger. The retailer is eligible to receive a bonus of one-percent of the jackpot amount - $40,000 – for selling a jackpot-winning Lotto Texas ticket.

The winner has requested minimum publicity.

As of Feb. 6, 2002, there are three Lotto Texas jackpots still unclaimed. There was one ticket sold in Deer Park for the drawing held on Saturday, January 19th, worth an estimated $27 million. There were two jackpot-winning tickets sold for the drawing held on Saturday, February 2nd. The drawing was worth an estimated $10 million. One ticket was sold in Dallas, and the other was sold in the Humble/Atascocita area outside of Houston.

The numbers drawn were 11-47-16-23-10-54.

Abilene Weekly Grand Winner
Focuses on Future and Job

January 23, 2002

According to David Simoes of Abilene, today could be just like any other. The big difference is Simoes just became the Texas Lottery's 53rd Weekly Grand winner, and will collect $1,000 a week for the next 20 years, with a total payout of $1,040,000. He says he is concentrating on two things right now, "The future, and his job at Lockheed Martin."

"We've decided that things aren't going to change that much; we're going to live in the same house and drive the same cars," said Simoes. "I know it sounds weird, but I have a pretty important job to focus on right now."

Simoes' job, a site supervisor for Lockheed Martin, requires him to oversee the repair of B-1B bomber jet engines for the United States Air Force. It's a job that he has dedicated himself to for more than 20 years. Simoes served in the Air Force for 23 1/2 years, and upon retirement went to work for Lockheed in June of 2000.

"This win makes our future look a little brighter," said Simoes. "But it still keeps a person in check."

Simoes purchased his winning Weekly Grand ticket at Skinny's #24 in Abilene. In accordance with lottery procedures, the retailer is eligible to receive a bonus of $10,000 for selling the top-prize winning ticket. The store is located at 1450 South Clack.

"I scratched the ticket off at the store," said Simoes. "I won on the first line - my number was a six and the other number was a five - but it didn't register with me at first. In fact, I scratched the next line too before I fully realized I had won."

Simoes explained that after signing the back of the winning ticket, he drove to the Abilene Lottery Claim Center, where he found out that he could not collect his winnings because the prize level was too high. However, as he put it, "They got me in touch with Abbie Piña (Texas Lottery Winners Liaison) in Austin real quick."

While it has been awhile, Simoes admits he has won a couple of times with various Texas Lottery games. He told officials that right after moving to the Abilene area in 1993, he won $1,000 on a different scratch-off game (Aces High), and has matched 4-of-5 numbers on the lottery's Cash 5 game. He netted $632 in May of 2001 for matching the four winning numbers.

Simoes makes the first Weekly Grand winner from the Abilene area since the game was first issued in 1995. The popular lottery scratch-off has been reissued a total of eight times.

Fort Worth Pharmacy Owner Proves
He's Not Always Joking Around

Jan. 16, 2002

Lotto Texas player Jim Ater has a reputation for kidding around and playing practical jokes. And when it comes to winning the lottery, it took the A & P Pharmacy owner 21 days, a four-hour bus trip and a lot of work for Ater to convince the five members of the Triple J NXS Trust they actually won the $36 million Lotto Texas jackpot from the December 26, 2001, drawing. Each member of the group pitched in $5 a piece for 25 sets of numbers. The sole, jackpot-winning ticket was purchased and forgotten about until later the same night of the drawing.

"It was in my mind the night of the drawing because my boss, Jim, called me to see if I had made copies of the tickets. Sometimes I do that, but that night I didn't," said Jenny Willis, one member of Triple J NXS Trust. Jim said, 'he had heard the winning ticket was sold in Fort Worth,' and so he joked around about who was going to beat each other to work the next morning."

"I was late as usual," she added.

Jenny told lottery officials that Jim took her aside after a customer left and gave her the good news. "We won, we won!" she said Ater told her. Jenny explained that she didn't believe him at first because of Ater's reputation as a jokester.

"He told me to call my fiancé, Chad, and tell him the good news," Willis said. "I finally believed him when I realized he was shaking and I saw the evidence (the ticket) in his hand."

Willis was planning her wedding prior to the group's win, but now says she's going to let someone else do the planning for her.

"We're going to fly to Hawaii with some of our friends and family, and go to Maui for a week."

All five of the members of the trust work at A&P Pharmacy in Fort Worth. He explained to lottery officials, "We filled 240 prescriptions the day we found out, and that's even with closing the doors for a little while to tell a co-worker about the winning ticket. It's been crazy!"

Justin Pratz, the youngest member of the group, told lottery officials that the experience has been overwhelming. Pratz explained that Ater woke him up to tell him the good news.

"I thought I had overslept," Pratz said. "He asked me, 'Do you feel rich today?' I told him 'No,' and he said 'You should, because now you're a millionaire.' I won't really believe it until I see the money in my checking account."

The group has worked together for a number of years, and when asked what it meant to them that they had won the jackpot together, Willis pointed to them all and said, "I couldn't win with better people besides my family."

The winning Lotto ticket was purchased at the Riverside Food Mart, located at 350 N. Riverside Drive in Fort Worth. The lucky retailer is eligible to receive a bonus of one percent of the jackpot amount, which totals $360,000.

The winning Quick Pick ticket was purchased with the 25-year annuity payment option. The trust received an initial payment of $1,460,149.20, and receive equal payments of $1,440,000 every December for the next 24 years.

The investment cost for a return of $36 million was $19,976,716.80 but there was $19,996,866 in the prize pool. The TLC invested exactly $19,976,716.80 for this win and as you can see, the TLC DID pay these people the exact amount that was in the prize pool. It's in the inital payment, they received an additional $20,149.20.

The winning numbers were 08-20-47-51-40-44.

Lotto Texas Jackpot Racks Up Another First; Two Winners, Same Numbers, All Birthdays Split $4 Million Jackpot

Winners collect $813,710 more than what was in the prize pool!

January 11, 2002

This may be another first for the Texas Lottery's big-dollar game. Two Lotto Texas players selected the winning numbers based on important family birthdays for the same drawing and won. There is no record that this has ever happened with this game. The winning numbers, 21-3-5-28-29-7, were lucky for Elizabeth Jones of Houston, who came to Austin today to pick up her share of the prize for the November 17, 2001, drawing. Jones enjoys playing multi-draw, buying her Lotto tickets for 10 drawings at a time.

"The clerk runs my old tickets through the terminal every time I buy my new tickets," Jones said. "When I took in the batch that had the winner, the clerk said I had to come to Austin to collect my prize." Jones said she thought she had matched five numbers. She went home and pulled up the Texas Lottery website to get one of the biggest surprises of her life.

"I called Al, my husband, told him we had more than five numbers, and he came home immediately," she said. "All he did was look at that ticket all night. Not me because I went to bed and got up at 4:45 a.m. the next morning like I do every day to go to work."

Since learning of her good fortune, Jones has given notice at her job, Gugenheim Investments, a small restaurant-related business where she is the bookkeeper. "My last day is March 15," she said. "I gave three months notice, and it has been really hard even to think that I'm going to leave this job. I told my boss that this has been almost like getting a divorce." Jones and her husband plan to return to their native Missouri in a couple of years. They plan to build their dream home on farm property they already have. "When we first came to Houston, we planned to stay here five years," she said. "That was 20 years ago. We're ready to return home." Al Jones was as elated as his wife was over the win. "I knew I married Miss Right," he said. "I just didn't know her first name was 'Always.'" The ticket was purchased with an annuity and will give the winner $80,000 per year for 25 years. Jones received her first payment today, and will receive another on the anniversary of the win next November.

Jones bought her ticket at Randall's #3067, located at 5161 San Felipe Street, #200, in Houston. The retailer is eligible to receive a one-percent bonus of the jackpot ticket sold at their location. The bonus is $20,000.

The cash-loaded digits also gave Joel Conway of Euless half of the $4 million prize. Conway's payout totaled $1,147,192, before taxes. However, each of the winners share of the prize pool was only $740,337 meaning the TLC paid each one $406,885 more than what was in the prize pool just so the TLC could make good on the amount they "advertised." In all, the TLC paid a total of $813,710 more than what was allocated for this win. Conway, an Air Traffic Controller at DFW, collected his prize on November 27, 2001.

The winning numbers were 21-3-5-28-29-7

Plano Winner Takes His Top-Prize With Coffee

Jan. 11, 2002

Texas Lottery winners find out about winning a top-prize in all kinds of ways. Some watch the lottery drawings faithfully every night, or read the results in their local newspaper the following morning. Some, like Stone Murray of Plano, let their wives check the tickets the following morning over a cup of coffee.

"She made me get up and go get the Two Step ticket from on top of the dresser," said Murray. "She's normally the one to play Texas Two Step, however, I had to buy the ticket this time because she couldn't get to the store."

Murray said one of the tasks from his "Honey-Do" list is to buy $5 worth of Lotto Texas tickets every week, and this week he had to purchase his wife's Texas Two Step tickets as well. He explained his wife, Betty, became extremely excited when she noticed he had matched all four numbers plus the bonus ball. "She kept asking me, 'What's it mean? What's it mean?'"

What it meant was a $200,000 windfall.

The Quick Pick ticket was purchased at C-Store #110, at 4040 Preston Road in Plano. The retailer is eligible to receive a bonus of $2,000 for selling the sole, top-prize winning Texas Two Step ticket.

Murray told lottery officials there were thoughts of a new truck and a trip to Vegas (to see Tom Jones at the MGM Grand) for the near future. He plans on putting most of the winnings away for retirement though, because as he explained, "Nobody takes care of you except yourself!"

The numbers drawn for the January 4th drawing were 16-19-22-28 and the Bonus Ball was 07.

Fort Worth Lotto Texas Winner Collects
$6 Million Jackpot Prize

On Thursday, Dec. 21, 2001, as time almost runs out to collect one Lotto Texas jackpot prize, Anthony Vernon of Fort Worth made sure he beat the clock in plenty of time to receive his.

Vernon held the sole jackpot-winning ticket from the Saturday, November 24th Lotto drawing. He chose the 25-year annuity payment and received the first installment of $240,000. The Vernon Family Trust will receive the same amount every November for the next 24 years.

The amount allocated for the 6 of 6 winner for this win was $2,898,462. However, it required an investment of $3,374,654 to give a return of $6 million over 25 years. So, the TLC anted up an additional $476,192 to make good on the amount they "advertised."

"It seems like a lifetime ago for me," said Vernon. "I heard about that other ticket. I can't believe it, maybe the person lost it or wasn't paying attention."

The ticket Vernon refers to is the $13 million Lotto Texas prize-winner sold in Humble for the June 23rd drawing. At midnight tonight, the 180-day deadline expires to collect the $7.3 million Cash Value Option payout for that ticket.

"Time just stopped when I saw I had matched all six numbers," said Vernon. "I was reading the paper (Fort Worth Star Telegram) the next morning, and held my ticket up to the numbers in the paper and they were printed in the exact same order."

Vernon told lottery officials, he went to the store where he bought the ticket just to make sure. He said the clerk "got real excited" when the ticket came back as a winning one. It was the first time he had ever purchased tickets at that location, and not only did he match all six numbers, his other Lotto ticket netted him $135 more when four of the six numbers matched for the same drawing.

Both Quick Pick tickets were purchased at the Ramsey Grocery, located at 1201 E. Ramsey Avenue in Fort Worth. For selling the jackpot winning Lotto Texas ticket, Ramsey Grocery owners are eligible to receive a bonus of one-percent - $60,000 - of the jackpot amount.

"I'm getting it all in perspective," said Vernon. "I definitely want a new car, and this will definitely help with the family needs. I have three children, my fiancée has six, we have six grandkids and one on the way."

As of Dec. 21, there were two jackpot-winning Lotto Texas tickets outstanding. If no one steps forward to claim the Humble winning ticket before it expires tonight, the money remains unclaimed and will be transferred to the Multicategorical Teaching Hospital Account.

The second outstanding ticket was one of two jackpot-winning Lotto tickets that matched all six numbers for the drawing held Saturday, November 17th. It was purchased in Houston at Randall's #3067, located at 5161 San Felipe Suite 200. The prizewinner chose the 25-year annuity, which will payout $80,000 every year over the next 25 years. Joel Conway of Euless claimed the other jackpot-winning ticket for the same drawing. For choosing the Cash Value Option payout on his ticket, Conway received $1,147,192 on Tuesday, November 27th.

The winning numbers were 21-3-5-28-29-7

Lotto Texas Winner Claims $15 Million Jackpot

December 12, 2001

The Texas Lottery Commission presented the first installment payment of $600,000 to the SMS Family Partnership, Ltd. The registered agent is Sixto Perez Samayao. He is also a General Partner along with Maria Delsocarro Cervantes Samayao. The partnership, from Victoria, claimed the $15 million Lotto Texas jackpot from Wednesday, November 14, 2001. The partners chose the 25-year annuity, which will payout $600,000 every November for the next 24 years.

In this case, it required $8,760,528 to get a return of $15 million over 25 years but there was only $8,356,647 in the prize pool. This means the TLC will pay an additional $403,881 to this winner just so they can make good on the "advertised" amount.

The Quick Pick ticket was purchased at the Bacliff Grocery & Deli, at 545 B Grand Avenue in Bacliff. The retailer is eligible for a bonus of one percent -- $150,000 -- for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.

Representatives of the partnership have requested minimal publicity.

As of Dec. 12, 2001, there are three Lotto Texas jackpots still unclaimed. One ticket was sold for the June 23rd Lotto jackpot worth an estimated $13 million. The ticket was purchased in Humble and will expire on December 20th. The second ticket was one of two jackpot-winning Lotto tickets sold for the November 17th drawing worth an estimated $4 million. The ticket was purchased in Houston at Randall's #3067, located at 5161 San Felipe, Suite #200. The third ticket was bought in Fort Worth at Ramsey Grocery, located at 1201 E. Ramsey Avenue. The ticket was for the Lotto Texas drawing held November 24th worth an estimated $6 million.

The numbers drawn were: 53-38-42-44-24-18.

Euless Man Claims Share Of Lotto Texas Jackpot

Nov. 27, 2001

For the last nine years, Joel Conway has been buying the same line of numbers twice a week. For his faithfulness to playing his kids' birthdays, he finally came up a winner and got an anniversary present he never expected.

"When Lotto Texas first started, I thought of playing the digits in our phone number, but I decided to stick with the birthdays of our children after I realized that some of the birthday numbers and the phone digits were the same," Conway said. "And up until now, this set of numbers had only won me $3 a few times."

Conway is an air traffic controller at the Fort Worth Air Traffic Control Center. During his morning break, he was looking through the Sunday paper when he read the one line of numbers he always plays.

"I slammed the paper shut thinking that people would see my reaction on my face," Conway said. "I called my wife, told her to get the paper, look at the numbers and call me back. Then I realized I couldn't concentrate on my work, so I went home. Both of us spent the rest of the day floating around the house."

Until he put the winning ticket in a safety deposit box at the bank, Conway kept the ticket on the refrigerator with a magnet.

Conway's wife, Kitty, for her part, said the rest of the day was "surreal," that her feet never touched the ground even after she gave the news to her mother and her son, Brad, and daughter, Jennifer.

"The night before we were taken to the Petroleum Club by a family member for our 30th wedding anniversary," she said. "We missed the drawing and had no idea that we'd won a share in the jackpot on our anniversary."

As an air traffic controller, Conway has mandatory retirement at age 56, which he will reach next June. He has been in his job for nearly 28 years.

"I won't retire before next June, but this win certainly gives me more options for retirement," he said. "The big thing we're doing is taking a vacation to Disney World in September of next year. That's Jennifer's favorite vacation spot."

Mrs. Conway said their only big purchase will be a new van that will have a lift in it for their daughter, Jennifer, who has muscular dystrophy.

"I'm not going to retire either," Mrs. Conway said. "I love what I do. I'm a registered nurse who works with the elderly, and it's very satisfying work."

The Conway's son, Brad, is a graduate of Texas A&M. He is employed by a bank in Denton and is also studying at the University of North Texas. Jennifer has taken journalism courses at Tarrant County Community College.

The winning ticket was purchased as a Cash Value Option, which gives Conway the net present value of the prize, approximately half of the advertised jackpot. Conway's prize totaled $1,147,192, before taxes. (Conway's share of the prize pool was $740,337 meaning the TLC paid him $406,885 more than what was in the prize pool. For the two winners, the TLC is paying a total of $813,710 more than what was allocated.)

For selling the big prize-winner, Jumpin John's, located at 105 Westpark Way in Euless, is eligible to receive a bonus of one percent of the advertised jackpot. Because there were two winning tickets sold, this retailer's share comes to $20,000.

Those numbers proved to be lucky for someone in Houston on the same night. A ticket sold at Randall's #3067, located at 5161 San Felipe Street, #200, remains outstanding.

The winning numbers were 21-3-5-28-29-7.

Lewisville Lotto Texas Winner Claims $24 Million Jackpot

November 19, 2001

The Red Bird Family Limited Partnership/Red Bird Family Enterprises, Inc of Lewisville claimed the $24 million Lotto Texas jackpot from the Saturday, October 27th drawing. The partnership chose the Cash Value Option and will receive a lump sum payment of $14,023,056.

The Registered Agent is John R. McNair of Dallas and the Directors are Raymond F. Pollone & Joan L. Pollone. They collected $336,836 more than what was in the prize pool.

The ticket was purchased at Convenience Plus, located at 1010 S. Edmonds in Lewisville. The retailer is eligible to receive a bonus of one percent, $240,000, for selling a jackpot-winning Lotto Texas ticket.

Representatives of the partnership have requested minimal publicity.

As of today, there are four jackpot-winning Lotto Texas tickets outstanding. One was sold in Humble for the June 23rd drawing worth an estimated $13 million. There has been no word from the ticket holder(s), and the last day to claim the jackpot prize is December 20th. A winning ticket was sold in Bacliff for the November 14th drawing worth an estimated $15 million. Two tickets matching all six numbers were sold in Euless and Houston for the Saturday, November 17th drawing, worth an estimated $4 million.

The numbers drawn were 11-36-50-07-38-10.

$40 Million Lotto Texas Jackpot Ticket
Sold In Round Rock Claimed

Oct. 31, 2001

The Hermosillo Family Trust claimed the $40 million Lotto Texas jackpot for the drawing on October 3, 2001. Ramon Hermosillo is the trustee.

The winning Quick Pick ticket was purchased with a Cash Value Option, which gives the winner the net present value of the jackpot, approximately half of the advertised jackpot. The winner's prize totaled $23,212,912 which was $83,360 more than what had been allocated for the prize.

For selling the big prize-winner, the Sam Bass Road Shell, located at 806 Sam Bass Road in Round Rock, is eligible to receive a bonus of one percent of the advertised jackpot, which comes to $400,000.

The trust requested minimal publicity.

The winning numbers were 36-32-38-46-12-9.

$9 Million Lotto Texas Jackpot Ticket Sold In Whitney Claimed

Sept. 28, 2001

The Bird Nest Trust claimed the $9 million Lotto Texas jackpot for the drawing on August 29, 2001. The Wells Fargo Bank Texas, NA, is the trustee.

The winning Quick Pick ticket was purchased with a Cash Value Option, which gives the winner the net present value of the jackpot, approximately half of the advertised jackpot. The winner's collected $5,158,087.20 however, the prize pool only had $4,702,853 in it which means the TLC kicked in an extra $455,234 for this winner. It really was their lucky day!

For selling the big prize-winner, the Wood Kountry Grocery Inc, Highway 22 South Side NFM 933 in Whitney, is eligible to receive a bonus of one percent of the advertised jackpot, which comes to $90,000.

The winning numbers were 28-44-37-11-30-31.

The trust requested minimal publicity.

A Hungry Son and a Jackpot-Winning Lotto Texas Ticket Gives Seguin Man Something To Be ‘Happy’ About!

Sept. 12, 2001

On Saturday, August 18th, "Happy" Roberts' hungry son wanted to eat at a local fast food restaurant. On the way, he remembered he needed to buy his usual $5 worth of Lotto Texas tickets for the drawing that evening. So he stopped at Pic N Pac #10 in Seguin, a place he had never bought his Lotto tickets before, and ended up $20 million richer by the end of the weekend.

"I've always told people I was going to win," said Roberts. "I bought a paper the next morning and when I saw the numbers matched I started shaking and kept shaking for three more hours. Then I called my wife, Jeralyn to tell her, and she told me that 'Right now isn't a good time to be joking around.' "

After finally persuading her that he wasn't 'joking around,' the two decided to meet back at home. He then took the time to call his long time friend and business partner, Rick Davis, to tell him the good news. The two started a lawn mowing service last year.

"He (Roberts) called me and said 'I just won $20 million,' " Davis said. "I told him I didn't believe it, but you could hear it in his voice that he was serious. He told me, 'I'm officially retired as of right now! We'll never have to mow another lawn.' "

On his way back home, Roberts stopped at the store he bought his ticket to have the clerk check it also. When he walked into the store holding what he thought was the winning ticket, the clerk asked him, "Are you the one?"

"I told her 'I think so,' " Roberts said. "She told me if I was then I was going to get a big hug, and she did it too!"

For selling the jackpot-winning ticket, owners of Pic N Pac #10, located at 109 Highway 123, are eligible to receive a $200,000 bonus.

According to Davis, Roberts told him he plans on buying a Harley motorcycle, and his wife wants a Harley special edition Ford F150 pickup truck. The couple has also started looking at RVs to do a little traveling. His son wants a Lamborghini; however, there has been no immediate response to that request. Their two daughters just want "mama to stay home."

Roberts' ticket was the only one sold matching all six numbers for the Saturday, August 18th Lotto Texas drawing worth an estimated $20 million. He chose the Cash Value Option, and today the Texas Lottery Commission presented a ceremonial check in the amount of $11,320,320 to Black Pearl, Ltd. (There was only $11,007,000 in the prize pool meaning this winner was overpaid by $313,320.) To celebrate his win, Roberts showed up at Lottery Headquarters in a white stretch limousine accompanied by his wife, Jeralyn and friend, Rick Davis.

Roberts told lottery officials he had originally wanted to bring his jackpot-winning Lotto Texas ticket in an armored truck. He chose to carry it in a fire-proof safety box instead.

"That way I kept it with me," said Roberts.

The winning numbers drawn were 18-01-52-45-32-26.


United Parcel Employees Collects $20 Million
TLC Overpays Them by $380,881

Aug. 7, 2001

Cordova Springs, A Partnership, didn't waste much time in coming to Austin to pick up the prize from the July 28th Lotto Texas drawing.

The partnership was presented with a ceremonial check in the amount of $11,190,952.00 for matching the six winning numbers in the Lotto Texas $20 million drawing nine days ago. The partnership was paid the exact amount that was required to obtain a $20 million return over 25 years. The TLC overpaid them by $380,881 as there was only $10,810,071 in the prize pool.

Currently the rule states the TLC can "increase" the amounts paid out - but the rule does not say the TLC can "decrease" the amount in the prize pool - though some winners have been shortchanged in the past - they did not receive their full share of sales. Right now, the TLC is trying to change this rule so they can shortchange players "legally" in the future and continue to pay out more than what they have so they don't have to lower the starting jackpot figures. They plan to take funds off the bigger jackpots to offset what they overpay. Players who oppose this idea should write the TLC, your state representative and your local newspapers. We have 30 days to voice our opinions .... AGAIN. We've already done it once but they don't plan to consider those comments.

Larry Stack of Cordova, Tennessee, and Chris Fellows of Hot Springs, Arkansas, represented the partnership at the ceremonial check presentation ceremony.

The winning Quick Pick ticket was purchased with a Cash Value Option, which gives the winner the net present value of the jackpot, approximately half of the advertised jackpot.

"I gave Chris $60 to buy lottery tickets in Texas, $40 for the 7-28 drawing and $20 for future drawings," Stack said. "She left me a voice mail on her way to see family in Texas right before she bought the tickets, and she asked me if I wanted to claim the jackpot in a lump sum or in an annuity. She was laughing when she left me that message, and naturally, I heard it and erased it. Didn't give it another thought."

Stack said Fellows kept the winning ticket with her at all times, "Real close to her heart."

Both are employees of United Parcel Service (UPS) and plan to retire soon.

For selling the winning ticket, the Triple J Convenience Store, 5121 Summerhill Road in Texarkana is eligible to receive a bonus of one percent of the advertised jackpot, which comes to $200,000.

The partnership requested minimal publicity.

The winning numbers were 54-04-33-21-46-47.

Houston Group Claims $13 Million

July 20, 2001

The Texas Lottery Commission presented a ceremonial check in the amount of $7,541,024.40 to the CSF Partnership of Houston. The group won the $13 million Lotto Texas jackpot from the drawing held on Saturday, July 7th.

According to the TLC, "the partners chose the Cash Value Option, which pays approximately half of the estimated jackpot amount." (Just for the record, I think $7.5 million is more than "one-half of the estimated jackpot amount" and how is paying exactly $13 million having an "estimated" jackpot?)

Records show total sales for the draws leading up to this lotto win was $17,354,953 and the 6 of 6 winners share, according to the written rule, is 37.532% of sales meaning there was $6,513,661 in the prize pool. Once again, the TLC has overpaid another jackpot winner - this time by $1,027,365 - just to make good on the "advertised jackpot amount." (This is their way of preventing lawsuits for false advertising ... the $7.5 figure is the exact amount required to receive a return of $13 million over 25 years.)

The TLC is currently proposing to re-write the rule to "legally" allow them to pay the jackpot winners the "advertised jackpot amount." While this winner came out with $1 million extra, there have been other winners that did NOT receive the full amount due them by law. This rule change, if approved, will allow the TLC the freedom to pay the amount they advertise - no matter what sales are. Example: They could advertise $25 million when there is really $40 million in the pot. And by the same token, they can advertise $4 million when there is only $1.4 million in the pot. Of course - they want to do this so they can make the Texas Lottery look like they have something they really don't or as a way to make more money. This will be a "legal" way of skimming money from the players.

The jackpot-winning ticket was purchased at A&L Postal Services, located at 5170 Aldine Mail Route in Houston. The retailer is eligible for a bonus of one-percent - $130,000 - for selling the winning Lotto Texas ticket.

Representatives of CSF Partnership have requested minimal publicity.

As of July 20, 2001, there is still one $13 million Lotto Texas ticket unclaimed for the drawing held June 23rd. The Quick Pick ticket was purchased at Copperfield Liquor #6, located at 7540 FM 1960 East in Humble.

The winning numbers drawn were: 32-31-20-34-35-05.

Partnership Collects $28 Million
Lotto Ticket Purchased in Plano


July 11, 2001

Mayflower, L.P., of Austin claimed the Lotto Texas jackpot prize for the May 19th drawing, which was worth an estimated $28 million. Mayflower, L.P. is a partnership with Mayflower Enterprises LLC as general partner. Mary Brooker of Chase Manhattan Bank represented the partnership but Glenn M. Karisch of Austin is the registered agent.

The partnership chose the Cash Value Option and will receive $15,299,536.00. The Quick Pick ticket was purchased at Park's 66, located at 801 Park Blvd., in Plano. The retailer received a one-percent bonus - $280,000 - for selling the jackpot winning ticket.

The TLC overpaid this partnership by $344,424 as there was only $14,955,112 in the prize pool. According to the written rule, six of six winners are entitled to 37.532% of total sales in the "roll" and total sales were $39,846,297. The executive director does have the authority to overpay and now it appears, she can under-pay too!

The partnership has requested minimal publicity.

The winning numbers were 4-5-7-13-18-33

Ex-Store Clerk Wins $141 Million Lottery

By Karen A. Davis - Associated Press

California - Silicon Valley's newest multimillionaire is not a computer whiz with a killer application, but a retired grocery store clerk who won the biggest single-state lottery jackpot in U.S. history: $141 million. Alcario Castellano, 66, was all grins on Friday, June 29th, the day after stepping forward to claim the prize from the June 23, 2001 SuperLotto drawing.

"My wife and I will never be able to spend all of this money. This is for our family and future generations," Castellano said. The former migrant worker, who moved with his family to California from New Mexico to pick crops at age 9, said he plans to use his new-found wealth to help his daughters through graduate school. His wife, Carmen, said they also plan to donate to charity, favoring education, the arts and Hispanic culture.

Castellano added that he plans to take vacations with his wife -- lots of vacations. Carmen Castellano said she wants to visit Mexico, Peru and Europe. "I've always dreamed of seeing those pyramids," she said.

Instead of taking the money in annual payments, Castellano chose to accept a lump sum of $70.8 million, or about $42.3 million after taxes.

Castellano said that on the Sunday morning after the drawing, he awoke at dawn, brewed coffee and plucked his ticket from the refrigerator, where it was posted with a magnet. He said he sat down to read the paper and began matching the numbers. "Now, what's going on here?" he said to himself. "Is this real? I can't believe it." He said he went outside for a walk, came back into the kitchen and checked the numbers again. He awoke his wife, "and she started getting hysterical and started dancing."

Next-door neighbor Sheila Reno said she chatted with Castellano on Thursday, and he never mentioned his new millions. Friends and neighbors say the money couldn't have gone to a more deserving couple.

Co-worker Bob Skillicorn remembers Castellano's days as dairy manager at a San Jose Safeway store before he retired with a bad back. "You sit and think, `It's a sin for one person to win that much money.' But when it's someone like him, well, I'm really happy for him," Skillicorn said. "He's a real down-to-earth individual and a very strong family man. I know he'll do the best for his family and community by giving back."

An Interesting Note

In California, players choose 5 numbers from a pool of 1-47 numbers then they chose 1 number (called a mega number) from another pool of 1-27 numbers. They use a total of 74 balls and it requires winning two separate drawings to win the big one. Last year California replaced its “regular lotto game” with this new mini powerball type game. The odds of winning California's new game is 1 in 41,416,353. That's why they saw a $141 million jackpot - it's very difficult to win, to say the least!

Isn't it interesting to see that the winner only cleared $42 million out of an advertised $141 million jackpot?

Texas Two Step, Texas' newest game, is just like California's SuperLotto but Texas' structure is 4 out of 35 then players choose 1 number out of another 35 numbers (called the bonus ball) - there's 2 draws and a total of 70 balls. Also, Texas promotes this game being "pari-mutuel" and as paying 50% of sales but - they pay the "advertised jackpot amounts," they have never paid out 50% of sales thus far and, many of the jackpots have been under-estimated too. I often wonder how they could ever pay 50% of sales when they pay the "advertised" and "fixed" amounts on a game.

Another interesting note, at one time California increased their Lotto by 4 balls, but the players rebelled so they lowered it back to 51 balls. Then last year, they replaced their "Lotto" game and only play "SuperLotto" as their big game now.

Houston Winner Collects $21 Million Jackpot
TLC Overpays Again!

June 29, 2001

The Texas Lottery Commission presented the Elizondo Family Trust with a ceremonial check in the amount of $11,646,801.60 for matching the six winning numbers in the Lotto Texas $21 million drawing on June 9th, 2001.

Omar Elizondo of Houston is the trustee.

The winning Quick Pick ticket was purchased with a Cash Value Option, which gives the winner the net present value of the jackpot, approximately half of the advertised jackpot.

Elizondo did not learn until the Monday after the Saturday drawing what the winning numbers were because all newscasts were focused on reporting the extensive flooding caused by Tropical Storm Allison.

"I matched up the winning numbers Monday morning at work," Elizondo said. "Then I walked into my boss's office with my hands shaking and showed him my ticket. He was happy for me, and then he sent me home."

The winner requested minimal publicity.

The winning numbers were 6-12-48-28-43-47.

An Interesting Note

The TLC paid this trust $11,648,801.60, however, there was only $11,070,604 in the prize pool for them. The TLC overpaid this winner by $578,197.60 just so they could make good on the "estimated advertised amount" which is NOT something the TLC had to do.

To avoid overpaying 6 of 6 winners, the TLC could simply lower the jackpot figures to better reflect sales. But their solution, now that this has been exposed - is they are trying to change the rule so they can officially pay the advertised amount which would enable them to over-estimate or under-estimate any and all jackpots and at any time. They plan to keep a little extra off the big jackpots to help offset what they overpay on the smaller jackpots. At the same time, they want to promote the game and payouts as "pari-mutuel." If you don't like this idea, you should tell them!

It is also interesting to note, before Linda Cloud took control in 1997, the TLC always paid - to the exact penny - ONLY the percentage of sales due each of the winners.

TLC Overpays Quinlan Winner
When She Collected $2.2 Million

June 25, 2001

After claiming her Lotto Texas jackpot advertised at an estimated $4 million, Christie Barnes of Quinlan said she knew exactly what she was going to do with the money from the April 25, 2001 drawing.

"I want to provide for my little girl's future," said Barnes. "I'm going to set up something for her education."

Since Barnes chose the Cash Value Option, she has $2,206,643.20 to invest in her daughter's future. Barnes received a ceremonial check from Texas Lottery Commission Executive Director Linda Cloud in Austin.

The TLC, by their own choosing, overpaid Ms. Barnes by $748,697.20. There was only $1,457,946 in the prize pool [37.532% of sales is the 6 of 6 winners share, total sales were $3,884,541] - but since it requires $2,206,643.20 to get a return of $4 million over a 25 year period, the TLC just decided to pay Ms. Barnes that amount instead!

Barnes bought the ticket from the One Stop Food Store, located at the junction of Highway 35 and Highway 34 in Quinlan. One Stop Foods, Inc., the corporate owner of the Quinlan store, has already received its one-percent bonus of $40,000, and gave its employees a share of the award.

Barnes has requested minimum publicity, noting that she hasn't told that many people.

"It took me three weeks just to tell my best friend," she said.

"When I stopped by One Stop one night to buy gas, everyone was talking about the winning ticket," she explained. "After some customers left, I went up to the sales girl and asked if she could keep a secret. Then I told her 'I have the winning ticket.' "

The clerk told Barnes that, "It couldn't have happened to a nicer person."

The winning ticket was a Quick Pick.

The numbers were 2-3-27-34-48-50.

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