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Eastman man first millionaire to join Georgia's $500 Million Club

Thursday, February 1, 2007

ATLANTA – Dreams of owning a business have just come true for an Eastman man who won $1 million playing the new instant game Georgia's $500 Million Club.

Tillis Johnson, 31, is the first millionaire to join the Georgia Lottery’s brand new club.

"The feeling came over me to buy this ticket," said Johnson, a housekeeper at Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin. "When I saw that I'd won, I was in a daze. I had to double check, I couldn't believe it."

P&P Food Mart, 431 Oak St., in Eastman sold the lucky $1 million ticket Feb. 1.

Johnson said he plans to open a personal care home with his wife, Lillie, who is a nurse. The couple will celebrate their first wedding anniversary on Feb. 24.

"Telling my wife was most memorable," the father of three said. "She was happier than I was."

Johnson calls the day he purchased the winning ticket a "bright day."

"Having my own business, I like the idea of that," he said.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corporation has returned over $8.8 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 1 million students have received HOPE, and more than 790,000 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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