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Fort Lauderdale trucker hits the jackpot

Dec 16, 2003, 5:35 am

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Florida Lottery

Florida's newest millionaire is a Fort Lauderdale truck driver, a habitual lottery player whose stepdaughter figures the $1 million in winnings may just get him even.

"He's been buying them his whole life. This is just all the money he's spent on them," said Kandice Marks, whose stepfather, Donald Ritacco, was driving back from Tallahassee on Monday.

Ritacco, 48, bought his $10 ticket for the Florida Lottery's "$1,000,000 Cash Spectacular" scratch-off game Thursday at a Marathon gas station on State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale.

"There was only the clerk in the store, and I told him I won," Ritacco said, according to a lottery news release. "I then called my wife to tell her the good news, and she didn't believe me until I showed her the ticket."

Ritacco redeemed his ticket Monday morning at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee, making him the ninth million-dollar winner in the game. He opted to take 20 annual installments of $50,000.

He has no plans to quit his job driving an 18-wheeler for Show Management of Fort Lauderdale, hauling equipment for boat shows, according to Marks. The family hasn't decided yet what to do with the winnings.

"I think everybody's had input on it," Marks said.

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