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Former Newspaper Publisher Wins $2.5 Million

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

ATLANTA – A former newspaper publisher has a big case of gold fever. Robert McCray played the Georgia Lottery instant game $300 Million Gold Rush and won the game’s first $2.5 MILLION top prize. This is the highest instant game top prize in Georgia Lottery history.

“We are so pleased to have our first $2.5 million winner on $300 Million Gold Rush,” said Georgia Lottery Corporation President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco. “In addition to record-breaking winners, we are celebrating record sales with this exciting new game. That’s great news for the students of Georgia who benefit from lottery-funded educational programs.”

Mr. McCray resides in Dacula. He purchased his winning ticket at St. Thomas Quick Corner, located at 419 Buford Dr. in Lawrenceville.

According to Mr. McCray, he had the lucky ticket for a few days before his wife Janet scratched it. Mrs. McCray announced, “You have to see this. I think you just won $2.5 million!”

Mr. McCray, 49, served as the publisher of the Gwinnett Daily Post until a few months ago. He is currently the president of an automobile guide.

Mr. and Mrs. McCray have a 3-year-old son, Ryan. The family plans to pay bills and will consider a vacation to the Bahamas. “I want to get in the sun and out of this 30 degree weather,” Mr. McCray says.

According to Mr. McCray, his family looks forward to enjoying the educational benefits of the Georgia Lottery. “HOPE is one of the reasons we moved to Georgia,” he shares.

$300 Million Gold Rush is a $10 game with 30 millionaires and the highest instant game top prize in Georgia history. The game offers over $304 million in total cash prizes including 10 top prizes of $2.5 MILLION, 20 $1 MILLION prizes, more than 19,600 prizes from $1,000 to $50,000, and over 498,000 prizes from $100 to $500.

$300 Million Gold Rush tickets went on sale statewide on Jan. 31. The Georgia Lottery marked its highest sales week in history with the game’s introduction. Georgia Lottery sales for the week ending Feb. 4 were a record-breaking $80,449,963.

Adding to the excitement of $300 Million Gold Rush is the statewide promotion Rush to Win. Players can enter a second chance drawing with any non-winning $300 Million Gold Rush ticket for a chance to win $1 MILLION.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corporation has returned over $8 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs including Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia's Prekindergarten Program. More than 900,000 students have received HOPE Scholarships, and more than 700,000 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.


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

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Georgia Lottery Corporation
Media Relations Department
Voice: 404-215-5062
Fax: 404-215-8983
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Kimberly Starks
Media Relations Manager

P 404.215.5062
F 404.215.8983
media [at] galottery [dot] org

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