NASHVILLE—Three lucky Tennesseans are celebrating the holidays with an extra twinkle this week after winning $1 million each playing Tennessee Lottery instant games. Two of the lucky three won by entering non-winning tickets into a “Play It Again!” drawing, while the third won on the second of two tickets she purchased at E-Z Stop Food Mart in Alcoa.
The Play It Again! winners—Stan Massey, a maintenance supervisor in Cleveland, and Andy Patel, a restaurant worker from Decherd—arrived at the Lottery’s headquarters Monday nearly simultaneously to claim their million-dollar prizes. President and CEO Rebecca Hargrove was on hand to give out checks and share some laughs.
“What a fun and exciting day—and right at the holidays!” said Hargrove. “Two of my favorite things about the Tennessee Lottery are raising dollars for education and our Play It Again! program.”
The unique program allows players to enter non-winning instant tickets into drawings for cash that are held approximately every four months. Once the winners are drawn, Hargrove places a telephone call to share the news. This drawing awarded a total of more than $3.3 million to 11 winners throughout the state. A third Play It Again! winner, Roger White of Hixson, won $75,000 and arrived in time to share the excitement with the others.
“Many folks are skeptics when I call,” she told the winners, who laughed and nodded. “But it all becomes reality when they get here.” Initial plans for the prize money? “Savings!” said all three, who added that this was a “life-changing experience.” Roger hinted that a diamond ring for his wife could be in the future.
The third millionaire, a member of the Tennessee National Guard, was happy she purchased a second Lottery ticket on Friday. She and her husband are adopting a baby and welcome the extra money.
To “Play it Again,” players simply visit tnvipsuite.com and become a VIP Players Suite member (free). Once registered, players can scan non-winning instant tickets with the TN Lottery phone app or enter online. By entering tickets, VIP Members also receive points to enter drawings for a variety of merchandise, travel packages, and more.
See www.tnvipsuite.com for a complete list of Play It Again! winners and to learn more.
About the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation
The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation operates entirely from the revenue it generates through the sale of its products. Since January 20, 2004, the Lottery has raised more than $4.3 billion to fund designated education programs, including after-school programs, college grants and scholarships and the Governor’s Drive to 55 initiatives.
In addition to the educational beneficiaries, players have won more than $11.8 billion in prizes and Lottery retailers have earned more than $1.1 billion in retailer commissions.
For additional information, visit tnlottery.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Have Fun. Play Responsibly.