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HOPE scholar wins $500,000

Sunday, March 18, 2007

ATLANTA – A HOPE Scholarship recipient is celebrating a half-million dollar Georgia Lottery win. Melissa Ann Camarota played the instant game Jumbo Jumbo Bucks and won a $500,000 top prize.

"I was already a Georgia Lottery winner because I'm a HOPE scholar," said Camarota, who resides in Warner Robins and attends Georgia Military College.

Yogi Food Mart, located at 2403 Moody Rd. in Warner Robins, sold the lucky ticket. Camarota scratched the ticket in her car.

"I was so excited that I couldn't even talk," she said.

Camarota, 25, married her husband Nick, a finance manager, in October.

"We've been married five months, so it's like $100,000 for each month," the newlywed said.

According to Camarota, she plans to transfer to Mercer University in the fall and will use a portion of her winnings to continue her education.

"I'm also going to fly my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew here from Guam," she added. "It will be very exciting to see them."

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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Kimberly Starks
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