CLEWISTON — Residents of Hendry County have been shocked to find that their friend and neighbor, Jorge Mederos, 31 of Clewiston, bought a winning scratch-off ticket from a Publix in Tampa for $20 that awarded him one of six top prizes of $5 million. Due to their COVID-19 precautions, Florida Lottery Headquarters and district offices are closed, so Mederos had to claim his prize through a drop box.
The Monopoly Jackpot $20 scratch-off game, kicked off in September 2018, with over $407.5 million in prizes. The Tampa Publix, that sold the winning ticket, will now receive a $10,000 bonus commission, according to a press release.
“As the Florida Lottery has grown into an industry leader, it remains a dependable contributor to education in Florida. More than a $1 billion in each of the past 18 consecutive fiscal years has benefited Florida students and schools statewide, representing approximately six percent of the state’s total education budget. While the Lottery was never intended to fully fund Florida’s education system, Lottery contributions are far-reaching and crucial to ensuring the future success of students in Florida. Pre-kindergarten projects have directly affected the youngest Florida citizens, while thousands of K-12 students reap the benefits of Lottery dollars every school day. Thousands of bright minds have followed the beacon offered by Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarship Program and other student financial aid to pursue opportunities in higher education at state universities and community colleges. These institutions of higher learning themselves have benefited from more than $6.3 billion that help keep them running and affordable to Florida students,” the Florida Lottery website states.
“Additionally, Lottery dollars have funded School Recognition and Merit Programs for improved schools, and have even helped build and renovate nearly 800 schools through the Classrooms First and Classrooms for Kids programs. In total, Florida’s schools and students have received more than $37 billion in Lottery profits, including more than $5 billion to send more than 840,000 students to college on Bright Futures Scholarships funded by the Florida Lottery.”
Mederos chose to receive his winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $3,562,000.00.
For more information about the Florida Lottery and their current events, please visit their website www.flalottery.com.