Oakfield Man Cruises Toward Retirement With $1,000,000 Win On $500,000,000 Extravaganza Game
“I was stunned. No, I was enthralled!” That’s how 64-year-old Randall Bennett of Oakfield, Genesee County, described the moment he realized he won a $1,000,000 cash prize on a $500,000,000 Extravaganza
scratch off ticket from the New York Lottery. Bennett, a production supervisor at Mizkan’s Lyndonville location, said he started scratching his ticket as usual, but then saw something that caught him completely off guard.
“I saw the coin symbol and three zeros,” said the lifelong Oakfield resident. “I kept scratching and saw a comma and three more zeros. I started scratching really fast to uncover what was left. That’s when I saw the $1,000,000 and whispered to myself, ‘I just won $1,000,000.’” Bennett said keeping his cool wasn’t easy in the village’s crowded Wilson Farms store where he bought his ticket out of a vending machine, but he didn’t want others to know he had won before he had a chance to tell his loved ones. “The guy behind the counter asked me if I won,” said Bennett. “I told him my eyes aren’t what they used to be, but I was pretty sure he couldn’t cash it.”
Bennett’s first stop after leaving the store was home to tell his stepdaughter, but she didn’t believe him. He next called his girlfriend who immediately thought he won another $25,000 like he did on Easter Sunday in 2009. “I told her ‘no, keep going.’ I stopped her when she got to $1,000,000.” Bennett won his $25,000 prize on the Lottery’s Fat Wallet instant game. He claimed his latest $1,000,000 prize on October 19th at the Lottery’s Customer Service Center located at the Batavia Downs Casino.
Bennett said winning the $1,000,000 will give him the chance to make some plans that didn’t seem possible just a short time ago. “I’m used to working 10 hours a day, six days a week,” he said. “I plan to continue working, but my retirement date just moved up a few years.” As with most top prizes on a New York Lottery instant game, Bennett’s $1,000,000 windfall will be paid as an annuity. He will receive $50,000 a year for 20 years; netting him $33,015 annually through 2029. He plans to use the money to make repairs to the home he bought a few years ago and to follow through on plans to take a dream cruise to Alaska. “We had it all planned out once before, but never made it,” he said. “Now, it’s confirmed.”
Bennett is the 8th Genesee County resident to win a New York Lottery cash prize valued at $1,000,000 or more. Other recent Lottery millionaires include: Erin Connolly of East Bethany who collected her prize on the Win $1,000,000 A Week For Life ticket in 2005; Sandy O’Neil of Le Roy who claimed her Red Hot Million instant prize in 2006; and Wayne Gustison of Byron who collected his prize on the Million Dollar Ducks scratch off game in 2006.
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.