ATLANTA - A retired college math professor's Lotto South numbers have added up to a big win. James Terrell Turner matched all six numbers in the June 18 Lotto South drawing and won the $9 million jackpot. Mr. Turner pre-selected the cash option and will receive $4,965,358 before taxes.
A check presentation ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 28 at 11 a.m. at Georgia Lottery retailer Wayne's, where Mr. Turner purchased his lucky Quik Pik ticket. Wayne's is located at 1043-A E. Forsyth St. in Americus.
On the morning after the drawing, Mr. Turner, 71, visited Wayne's for his morning cup of coffee. Someone asked him, "Did you know someone in Americus won Lotto South?"
Mr. Turner got a printout of the draw results, compared it to the ticket in his wallet, and realized that he was the lucky jackpot winner.
The winning numbers for the Lotto South drawing on June 18 were: 6-7-12-13-31-42.
"I looked at it two more times to make sure I hadn't read it wrong," says Mr. Turner. "Then I put it back in my billfold and paid for my coffee."
According to Mr. Turner, he was hanging out in the store with some buddies for a few hours when the conversation turned to the Lotto South jackpot. "Oh, I won it," he casually commented. However, no one listened. "I did that on several different occasions, and nobody believed me."
Even after displaying the winning ticket, Mr. Turner had a hard time convincing his family. "I told my wife and she didn't believe me either," he says. "Finally my son-in-law looked at it and said, 'This is not a joke.'"
The Turners claimed their prize at Georgia Lottery headquarters in Atlanta on Tuesday (June 21) afternoon. According to the Turners, they may eventually build a new house with their winnings. "I'm going to give the kids some of it," shares Mr. Turner. His wife Janie adds, "We'll be happier knowing they're happier."
Mr. and Mrs. Turner have been married for 51 years. They have three children and five grandchildren. Mr. Turner retired from Georgia Southwestern State University in 1991. Mrs. Turner is a retired reading teacher.
Retailers are also winners with the retailer incentive bonus. Any Georgia Lottery retailer who sells a winning Lotto South jackpot ticket can earn the $25,000 retailer incentive bonus. If more than one winning jackpot ticket is sold in Georgia, the retailers selling the winning tickets will share the $25,000 retailer bonus. Wayne's will receive a $25,000 retailer incentive bonus.
As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Lotto South sales will benefit education in the state of Georgia. Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corporation has returned over $7.4 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.
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