Jul 11, 2007, 1:53 pm
Jim Fain couldn't believe his eyes.
His wife, Tina Beckham-Fain, sat on the floor of their Milledgeville home reading the number on the first of five lottery tickets they bought for the Millionaire Raffle as he looked at the winning combination on the Georgia Lottery Web site.
Beckham-Fain read 285704.
Unsure of what he was seeing on his computer, Fain then asked her to read the screen.
She did and the numbers matched.
"I started to hyperventilate," said Fain, a 42-year-old corporate sales manager for Georgia Public Broadcasting. "I thought it was a site for non-winners."
The Milledgeville man and his wife are one of four winners of a $1 million cash prize. They have no plans of quitting their jobs.
The winning numbers were drawn at 7 p.m. on 7/7/07, the day dubbed by many as the luckiest day of the century. Beckham-Fain said they bought tickets on June 30, the original day of the Millionaire Raffle drawing before it was pushed back a week.
Beckham-Fain said they are not big lottery players and typically only play the Millionaire Raffle and, depending on the jackpot, the Mega Millions game.
"It's a wonderful thing that this happened," said Beckham-Fain, a 40-year-old office manager at her father's used car dealership. "We were very blessed prior to and continue to be blessed."
The Millionaire Raffle also awarded five winners $500,000 and another 100 people $1,000. Lottery officials said the Millionaire Raffle has Georgia Lottery's greatest odds to win $1 million at 1/125,000.
Beckham-Fain said her husband almost didn't buy the ticket from Milledgeville's Jet Food Store #69 on North Columbia Street, but his wait in a line with about 15 people ahead of him paid off.
Veronica Williams, the store clerk who sold the winning ticket, said Fain even allowed others to go ahead of him in line.
"I'm excited for them," said Williams, who wishes customers good luck after buying lottery tickets. "He was very patient. It was packed in here. He is very lucky."
Tammy Crawley, manager for Jet Food Stores, said this year the stores in Milledgeville have sold three winning lottery tickets of rather large sums. She said their stores sold a $1 million Millionaire Raffle ticket around New Year's Day and a $44,000 Fantasy 5 winning ticket.
"We got a very good track record," Crawley said.
Magaret DeFrancisco, president of the Georgia Lottery Corporation, visited Milledgeville Tuesday to present Fain with a check and the Jet Foods Store with a $2,500 check for selling the winning ticket.
"This is the best part of the job," DeFrancisco said. "They're really wonderful people."
The other three $1 million tickets were sold in East Dublin, Acworth and Carrollton, DeFrancisco said. The Carrollton winner has yet to claim the prize.
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