Jul 17, 2009, 8:41 am
An Alpharetta salesman, a former HOPE scholarship recipient and a grandmother are some of recent Georgia lottery winners.
Their winnings, ranging from $50,000 to $777,777, total more than $1.6 million.
Alpharetta linen salesman, Ronnie Adams, 63, matched the first five winning numbers in the July 10 Mega Millions drawing, winning $250,000.
He saw the winning numbers in the sports section of a local newspaper and decided to check online.
"I called my wife over, and we both were just stunned," he said.
Married 39 years, Adams and his wife, Barbara, have three adult daughters and one grandchild. The couple plans to use the prize toward their retirement.
"It will be there for our little nest egg," he said.
Leon Carpenter, 57, of Columbus won $1,000 a week for a year from matching five out of six winning numbers plus the Free Ball in the July 11 Win for Life drawing.
He said he plays the lottery because it funds HOPE. A 1998 graduate of Columbus Technical College, Carpenter received the HOPE Grant while in school. He now works as an electronics technician.
"It's a good program," said Leon, a grandfather of nine.
Leon and his wife have no immediate plans for the lottery win.
But Helen Grant, 61, of Leslie knows what she plans to do with her $50,000 winnings.
She plans to buy a new lawnmower, remodel her home and pay off her car note.
The medical insurance claims processor and grandmother of two won her prize playing Jumbo Bucks Classic.
She was on her way to work when she purchased the ticket.
"I was shaking," she said. "Now I feel fine."
Cynthia Wilson, 47, of Chattanooga, Tenn. had a similar response when she won a $250,000 top prize playing Bass Pro Shops $250,000 Cash Adventure while in Ringgold.
She learned of her winnings after doing the scratch off in her car.
"I walked back into the store and told the clerk," she said. "I was very weak. I had to hold on to the counter."
Wilson, who works for a truck and trailer dealership and a grandmother of four, has no immediate plans for her prize.
Jimmy May, 49, of Warthen did not realize he was a winner of $250,000 until he got to work.
"I scratched it in my office," said the auto mechanic who played the instant game Millionaire Jumbo Bucks.
The winner has two children with his wife Theresa. He has no immediate plans for his winnings.
When Michael Renfroe, 46, of Dublin realized he was the winner of $777,777, he went straight home.
The architectural planner played the instant game Super Lucky 7's while stopping to buy a bag of ice.
"It took a minute to sink in," he said. "I had jelly legs walking back to my car."
A father of two with his wife, Julie, Renfroe said he has no immediate plans for his lottery win.
Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corporation has returned more than $11 billion to the state of Georgia for education.
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