Stephen Lyons, who was recently married, claimed his $1 million top prize in the $5 Monopoly Jackpot Scratch-Off game at lottery headquarters in Tallahassee this apst Monday, according to lottery officials. But that was just the latest installment of his good fortune.He got married in February, Moments after lottery officials announced his big win, he told everyone that are planning on a cruise.
Lyons, who is retired, worked for an insurance company for 42 years before starting his own business as a firearms instructor.
He started playing the lottery about five years ago for fun.
Lyons purchased his winning ticket at Palmer Market, this past Sunday, which will receive a $2,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, according to lottery officials. The market is located at 5300 Clark Road in Sarasota, at the corner of Clark and Honore.
He texted the photo of the winning ticket to his new bride, who was at work as an executive chef.
"She texted back saying 'are you kidding?'"
He called the lottery office on Monday and verified that the prize was available. He chose to receive his winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $715,000.
The Monopoly game launched in July 2018 and features more than $32 million in cash prizes. Scratch-offs generate more than $871 million for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund and account for about 69 percent of Florida ticket sales.
"I won the cancer lottery and then I won the scratch-off lottery," Lyons said.
If you consider his recent marriage, that's like winning three big prizes, he added.