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Foster father of 11 wins $1 million

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

ATLANTA – Gary Durham of Monroe played the Georgia Lottery instant game Georgia's $500 Million Club and won a $1 million prize. He will use his winnings to help his 11 foster children.

"I'm going to make sure the kids have what they need," he said.

Durham purchased the lucky ticket at Chestnut Cupboard, located at 1135 Church St. in Monroe. He scratched his ticket in the store.

"I looked at it and wondered if my eyes were focusing right," he said. "I never did turn any flips, but I wanted to."

Durham rushed home to surprise his wife, Daphane, with the news.

"I pulled out the John Wayne movie 'Big Jake' because there's a line in it that refers to 'what a million dollars looks like,' " Durham said. "Then I showed her the ticket, and she smiled and became totally breathless. It was great."

Durham, 54, works as a lead worker maintenance attendant for Walton County Parks and Recreation.

"In addition to helping the kids, I'll probably do a little remodeling on the house and save as much as I possibly can save."

Georgia's $500 Million Club offers over $500 million in total cash prizes including 10 top prizes of $5 million, 40 prizes of $1 million, and an extra grand prize of $10 million. The game also offers over 81,900 prizes from $500 to $50,000 and over 3.8 million prizes from $40 to $200.

Players can mail in a non-winning Georgia's $500 Million Club ticket to enter the Georgia's Millionaire Club drawings. Each weekly Georgia's Millionaire Club winner will receive $5,000 and become a finalist in the Extra Chance $10 Million Grand Prize Drawing.

Complete the back of the ticket, add a stamp, and mail the ticket as a postcard. The Georgia Lottery will conduct a weekly drawing from all entries received that week. Weekly drawings will be broadcast as a part of the Cash 3 evening drawings each Friday at 6:59 p.m.

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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Fax: 404-215-8983

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Kimberly Starks
Media Relations Manager

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