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February 13, 2020 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in lottery, elba, news.


Here's a birthday present that paid off in a big way -- a lottery scratcher purchased at a convenience store in Elba for Nichole Williams turned out to be worth $1 million.

Williams, a mother of three, and a cancer survivor, and resident of Knowlesville, said the money will help pay off her medical bills and she will start a college fund for her children.

“It’s definitely a blessing,” Williams said. “It’s definitely a huge weight lifted off my shoulders that I can provide college for my kids or if they don’t want to go to college we can put it towards a tech school or whatever else they want to do.”

Photo and information courtesy OrleansHub. For more on this story, click here.

May 4, 2018 - 1:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, lottery.

Press release:

Twenty-seven-year-old Marquele Tomlin, of Batavia, has been playing the Lottery since he turned 18. The auto shop bodywork expert said he never won more than $50, but kept playing because he thought, “Maybe someday I’d have a day like this.” Tomlin and his girlfriend of eight years, Amber Blackshear, recently claimed a $1,000,000 top prize on the $1,000,000 Double Sided Dollars scratch-off game. Tomlin purchased the couple’s ticket during a quick stop at their local Rite Aid to wire some money to his mother.

“I had a $20 winner that I exchanged for 10 $1 tickets and two $5 tickets,” he said. “I bought the tickets home and we scratched them just standing around the kitchen Island. She ended up with the big one.”

“We brought it back to the store to be sure and even the machine said ‘Big Winner,’” Blackshear said. “I got all excited; maybe too excited because Marquele told me I had to calm down.”

Blackshear, 23, said she believes fate had a hand in the couple’s windfall. “After eight years together, we broke up for awhile. The day we won was our first day back together as a couple.”

The couple opted to receive their prize as a one-time lump sum payment in the amount of $400,000 each. They will each receive a net check totaling $268,720 after required withholdings.

The two plan to use their respective shares of the prize to invest in a house for their growing family, which includes two toddlers. “I’d like one with a pool,” said Blackshear.

When asked what it felt like to be a Lottery Millionaire Tomlin said simply, “Ahhhhhhhhh. We did it!”

Blackshear said the win is a dream come true. “Now we can do anything as individuals or as a family,” she said. “It’s a feeling you can’t explain.”

The winning ticket was purchased at Rite Aid at 601 E. Main St. in Batavia.

The New York Lottery contributed $13,874,189 in Lottery Aid to Education to school districts in Genesee County during fiscal year 2016-2017.

September 17, 2015 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Northside Deli, batavia, lottery.


Dewey Towner came up a winner again (he's previously won the Harley Raffle), this time in a Take 5 contest of the New York State Lottery. Towner bought his winning ticket at Northside Deli. Owner Dave Stupp, on the right, said it's the largest single jackpot to come out of his store so far. Towner is holding his winner's receipt. He's expected to get a check from the lottery for just over $21,000 (less taxes).

April 5, 2012 - 2:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, lottery.

Press release:

A last-minute trip to the grocery store for a package of hoagie rolls proved to be a life-changing moment for Carol Pursel of Le Roy. On the way out of store, the 57-year-old mother of two caught a glimpse of the new The Color of Money scratch-off ticket in the store’s lottery vending machine. Pursel, the officer manager at her husband’s auto repair shop in Limerock, decided to try her luck on the new ticket.

“I scratched it in my car and saw that I had a match on the Jackpot amount,” recalled Pursel. “I ignored it thinking maybe it was a mistake, but then I figured I should go back in the store and check.”

Pursel took her ticket to the Customer Service counter where they verified it was a $1,000,000 winner.

“I asked them, “So what do I do now?’ ”

Pursel matched the number 29 on the upper and lower sections of her The Color of Money scratch-off game, making the working mom the first lottery player statewide to win the $1,000,000 top prize. The $5 game went on sale March 6.

Pursel purchased her winning ticket on March 12 at the Tops Markets on West Main Street in Le Roy. She claimed it at the lottery’s Customer Service Center in Rochester on March 15.

“I put off claiming it until I had a chance to talk to my accountant to prioritize where the money will go.”

The top prize on the lottery’s The Color of Money scratch-off is paid as $50,000 a year for 20 years. Pursel will receive a net check totaling $33,090 through 2031.

“My daughter is getting married this summer, so some will go toward that,” said Pursel when asked about her plans for the prize. “It will certainly come in handy all around.”

January 11, 2011 - 4:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, lottery.

On Monday, the New York Lottery announced the name of a Leroy Mega Millions player who won $10,000 in the drawing held on Jan. 4. The winner, Roger Laird, purchased the winning ticket at the Hess Mart at 204-210 West Main St. in Batavia.

Lottery prizes up to $600 may be cashed at any of the Lottery's 16,000 licensed retailers statewide. Lottery prizes valued at $601 to $999,999 may be claimed at any of the Lottery's seven stand-alone Customer Service Centers, including locations in Buffalo and Rochester. They can also be cashed at any of the Lottery's eight gaming facilities including Batavia Downs Casino and Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (in Farmington).

Prizes of $1,000,000 or more must be claimed at one of the stand-alone Customer Service Centers.

For more information on how to cash a winning Lottery ticket, click the "Ask New York Lottery" tab at <http://www.nylottery.org>.

February 17, 2010 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business, lottery.

Batavia Downs is not closing.

That's the message this morning from Western OTB Board Member Dick Siebert, who was part of a committee that met with State Lottery officials in Schenectady yesterday.

"We want our friends in the community and our employees to know that they're not going to be out of jobs," Seibert said. "Batavia Downs is not closing and that never really was the plan according to them (Lottery officials)."

The OTB told Lottery officials that they will begin immediately the process of hiring a consultant to help Batavia Downs come into compliance with Lottery regulations. The consultant will be hired in cooperation with the Lottery.

There have been no allegations of any misuse of funds, missing funds or serious wrongdoing. The Lottery issued a letter Feb. 3 raising concerns about procedural and administrative practices at the Downs and threatened to pull its video lottery terminals by March 1 if the Downs did not take steps to correct the reported deficiencies.

Siebert said he believes Lottery officials are now satisfied that the OTB board has a plan and is on the right track to address the state's concerns. The March 1 deadline has been lifted, he said.

"I'm sure as long as we show we're working diligently to do what the Lottery wants us to do, I'm sure the Lottery will be flexible (on the deadline)," Siebert said.

The consultant -- which must be approved by the Lottery -- will help the Downs comply with Lottery requirements and ensure it remains open.

February 7, 2010 - 12:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business, lottery.

In response to reports that the State Lottery is threatening to remove Batavia Downs video lottery terminals,  Joseph Gallo, chairman of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, has issued the following statement:

Western Regional Off-Track Betting pledges to work with the New York State Lottery over concerns regarding the performance of Batavia Downs Casino. As part of our formal response, a special meeting of the Western Regional OTB Board of Directors has been called for Thursday, February 11, 2010. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 11 o'clock AM inside conference facilities located at Batavia Downs Casino. At that time, the Board will discuss elements of a comprehensive management improvement plan being requested by State regulators.

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