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Retiree Becomes First Ever Lottery Millionaire from Canajoharie

Sixty-year-old Lorraine Larbell of Canajoharie, Montgomery County, is an occasional Lottery player who happened to be at the right place at the right time. She stopped into her local newsstand to buy some Lottery tickets and ended up purchasing a $1,000,000 Sterling Silver instant ticket. The newly minted millionaire has the store clerk to thank for her good fortune.


"I asked the clerk if they had any big winners on the Sterling Silver ticket," said the Spaulding retiree. "She said no, so I went ahead and bought a couple hoping to win big. I had no idea I would win this big!"


Larbell bought her $1,000,000 winner on Sunday, January 30th at the Fort Plain News & Variety on Main Street in Fort Plain. "I wish I could say I started jumping up and down when I realized I won, but I was actually pretty calm. When I told my daughter, she was a lot more excited than I was," explains the mother of one.


Larbell took her jackpot winning ticket home with her until she could claim it on Monday morning. "I brought it home and put it directly in my safe. Monday morning couldn't come fast enough, that's for sure," she said. She claimed her prize on January 31st at the Lottery's Customer Service Center in Schenectady.


As with most instant games, the top prize on the Sterling Silver instant ticket is paid as an annuity. Larbell will collect her $1,000,000 prize as $50,000 a year for 20 years. She will receive an annual net check totaling $33,015 through 2030. The new Lottery millionaire says she has no specific plans for the money. "I'm a pretty simple person. It's nice to know that if there's something that I need or want I now have the money to buy it. My daughter has wanted a new laptop for quite some time so that will be my very first purchase."


Larbell is one of five Montgomery County residents to win a Lottery jackpot of $1,000,000 or more. Other winners include Kathleen Dobson of Amsterdam who won $1,000,000 on the New York Poker instant ticket in November 2008; Rosemary Pratt of Amsterdam who won $3,000,000 on the Royal Riches in May 2008; David Smitherman of Hagaman who won $1,000,000 on the New York Poker instant ticket in April 2006; and Karen Savoie of Fultonville who won $4,000,000 on Lotto in March 1995.


The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, earning more than $39.3 billion in education support statewide since its founding over 40 years ago. The Lottery contributed nearly $2.67 billion in fiscal year 2009-2010 to help support education in New York State, which was over 12 percent of total state education funding to local school districts.


Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education. It takes into account both a school district's size and its income level; larger, lower-income school districts receive proportionately larger shares of Lottery school funding.