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Saturday, June 26, 2004
Media Contact:  Kym Gerlock
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Mark Silor and family members pose with CEO Rebecca Paul after the Lottery presented them with its first million-dollar check to a single winner.

NASHVILLE—“And the one-million-dollar check goes to …Mark Silor!” The Tennessee Lottery handed over its first $1 million check to a single winner Saturday evening at the culmination of “Millionaire Live!,” a half-hour event televised live at 6 p.m. from Nashville’s Opry Mills. In addition to Silor, the Tennessee Lottery has awarded more than $200 million in prizes to players since tickets went on sale January 20.

“I never thought I’d win,” Silor told hundreds of onlookers after the event. “I’m going to give all my co-workers $1,000 each!” Silor, 35, lives in Knoxville and is a welder for an awning installation company. He and his wife, Rose, have four children and two grandchildren. In addition to offering a windfall to his co-workers, other plans for the winnings include a donation to a breast cancer charity, sending his daughter to college, a vacation to Italy and renovations to his home.

“Millionaire Live!” was the first of three grand prize events that will award $1 million to a single winner. Dates are not set, but plans include holding the next drawing in Memphis and the final event in Knoxville. Players can still play the Lottery’s Tennessee Millionaire and Volunteer Millionaire instant ticket games for a chance to be entered into upcoming drawings.

“This is an exciting and fun day for the Tennessee Lottery,” said Rebecca Paul, CEO and president of the Tennessee Lottery. “Mark is the first of what will be a growing list of Tennessee Lottery millionaires.”

Silor wasn’t the only winner. Dennis Perry, of Fayetteville, Tenn., won $10,000 after the initial contestant elimination, while Bridget Magers-Elliot, of Stantonville, Tenn., was presented with an oversized check for $25,000.

“Millionaire Live!” ceremonies were led by Kristin Helm and Nashville’s News 2/WKRN personality John Dwyer. One activity selected the order in which the contestants participated in the next two games of chance. These games featured spinning a wheel and randomly selecting an envelope that contained additional game pieces, as well as pulling down a “lucky star” from the stage. The audience joined in the fun, as well, cheering encouragement and talking with reporters about what they would do with $1 million.

The three finalists were drawn from more than 250,000 entries mailed in from players who earned an entry through one of the two instant Millionaire ticket games. By playing one of these $1 games, players have a chance to win a variety of prizes, one of which is an entry ticket into the drawing.

All Tennessee Lottery profits will go to education programs. Most immediately, the Lottery is charged with raising at least $88 million by July 1 in order to fund scholarships for an estimated 65,000 students expected to attend Tennessee colleges and universities this fall.

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