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Hiram man wins Georgia Lottery promotion, throws 1st pitch at Braves game

Thursday, April 12, 2007

ATLANTA – Sonny Estopare of Hiram took the mound at the Atlanta Braves game Wednesday as the winner of a Georgia Lottery promotion. The promotion was held to celebrate the launch of the new Georgia Lottery Braves™ instant game.

"It was a lot of fun," said Estopare, 24. "I grew up playing Little League Baseball, so throwing the first pitch at an Atlanta Braves game is a dream come true for me."

Estopare threw a perfect pitch. The crowd cheered as the ball soared across home plate to Atlanta Braves™ catcher Brayan Peña.

"It was an exciting moment that will last a lifetime," Estopare said.

Braves™ instant game tickets went on sale statewide April 3. The $5 game is loaded with prizes, offering four top prizes of $250,000 and over $21 million in total cash prizes. Additionally, Braves™ lottery players can win 2008 Atlanta Braves™ season tickets, Atlanta Braves™ game day experiences, suite nights at Turner Field™, and Major League Baseball (MLB®) merchandise prize packages.

"The Braves™ instant game is something new and exciting for baseball fans and lottery players," said Georgia Lottery Corporation President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco. "With every dollar raised by this game benefiting lottery-funded HOPE and Pre-K, the ultimate champions remain the students of Georgia."

Georgia Lottery players can also enter non-winning Braves™ instant game tickets in second chance drawings for 2008 Braves™ Spring Dream Trips to experience Atlanta Braves™ 2008 Spring Training in Orlando, Fla. The grand prize package for two includes round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations at Disney’s Grand Floridian, exclusive receptions and autograph sessions with baseball players and coaching staff, passes to Disney theme parks, spending cash and more.

Players can enter non-winning Georgia Lottery Braves™ instant game tickets online at www.galottery.com/braves or by completing the player information section on the back of the ticket, affixing proper postage to the ticket and mailing in their entry.

Four second chance drawings will be conducted. The first drawing will be held on April 18, 2007 with an entry deadline of April 17, 2007. The second drawing will be held on May 2, 2007 with an entry deadline of May 1, 2007. The third drawing will be held on May 16, 2007 with an entry deadline of May 15, 2007. The fourth drawing will be held on May 30, 2007 with an entry deadline of May 29, 2007. One 2008 Braves™ Spring Dream Trip Grand Prize, along with 100 MLB® merchandise prize packages, will be awarded in each of the four drawings.

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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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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