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HOPE Dad Scores a Chance to Win $1 Million

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

ATLANTA – The Georgia Lottery Corporation’s Million-Dollar Hoopla promotion arrived in Macon on Tuesday, giving a lucky player the chance to win $1 million. Ron Hilderbrand, a Macon resident, sank the most free throws to win a trip to the Grand Prize Million-Dollar Hoopla Event, which will be held at the Atlanta Hawks game on April 1.

“I just can’t believe it,” says Mr. Hilderbrand, 50. “I can’t even put it into words.”

Mr. Hilderbrand and his wife, Kathy, have two children – Ronnie, 26, and Valerie, 23. With Valerie graduating from the University of Georgia as a HOPE scholar, the Hilderbrands are already considered Georgia Lottery winners.

Now the family is looking forward to Mr. Hilderbrand’s trip to the Grand Prize Million-Dollar Hoopla Event. “They’re all pretty excited,” shares Mr. Hilderbrand.

Cheered on by the roaring crowd, Mr. Hilderbrand sank eight free throws in 30 seconds to win the Macon Regional Qualifying Event. “I played basketball in high school, but I really haven’t touched a basketball in years.”

To prepare for the qualifying event, Mr. Hilderbrand practiced in a neighbor’s backyard with his three-year-old grandson, Zayne. “I didn’t get a whole lot of practice time,” laughs Mr. Hilderbrand. “When I would miss, he’d grab the rebound and want to shoot. Most of my time was spent chasing him around.”

Mr. Hilderbrand works as an assistant manager at TitleMax in Warner Robins. If he wins the $1 million grand prize, Mr. Hilderbrand says that he will help family and friends while contributing to charitable causes.

Million-Dollar Hoopla is an exciting promotion held in conjunction with the popular instant game $100 Million Cash Spectacular. Georgia Lottery players were able to enter a second chance drawing for the opportunity to win $1 million. From the second chance drawing, contestants were chosen to participate in 10 regional free throw basketball events around the state – including Tuesday’s event in Macon.

From the 10 regional events, the contestant who makes the highest number of free throws at each event will travel to Atlanta for the Grand Prize Million-Dollar Hoopla Event. One of the 10 lucky finalists will have a chance to win $1 million.

$100 Million Cash Spectacular tickets went on sale on Feb. 1. The game and promotion were launched at Philips Arena with the support of Atlanta Hawks/Thrashers owners Michael Gearon and Rutherford Seydel along with Wilkins. After two exciting months, the promotional events will culminate at Philips Arena with the Grand Prize Million-Dollar Hoopla Event.

$100 Million Cash Spectacular has 10 $1 million top prizes and the highest payout percentage in Georgia Lottery history. Georgia Lottery players have the chance to win over $118 million in total cash prizes. To date, Georgia Lottery players have won more than $111 million playing $100 Million Cash Spectacular. Eight $1 million top prizes have been claimed.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corporation has returned over $7.2 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs. These include Georgia’s HOPE scholarship program; a statewide, voluntary pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds; and a wide range of technological and capital upgrades for the state’s schools, technical institutes, colleges, universities and public libraries.


For more information, please visit the Media Center on the GLC Web site at:

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Georgia Lottery Corporation
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Fax: 404-215-8983
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Kimberly Starks
Media Relations Manager

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media [at] galottery [dot] org

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