An Indiana truck driver made a profitable pit stop last week in Ellenton that he will never forget.
When Rickey Hartbarger, 49, of Akron, Ind., stopped at the Pilot Travel Center on 51st Avenue in Ellenton late in the afternoon of Dec. 22, he bought a scratch-off ticket that turned out to be a big winner. On Tuesday, the Florida Lottery announced that the truck driver had won the $1 million prize from the $5,000,000 Flamingo Multiplier scratch-off. According to the Florida Lottery website, the odds of winning the $1 million prize are 1 in 1.14 million.
Hartbarger opted to receive the money in a lump sum of $719,726.80.
If Hartbarger had opted to receive the payment in annuities, he would have received $1 million, paid out over 25 to 30 years, Lotto spokeswoman Keri Nucatola said. Most people opt for the lump sum, even though it is a smaller total amount.
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The lottery withholds 25 percent in federal taxes from any prize greater than $500, so the amount of cash Hartbarger will take home after federal taxes are withheld will be roughly $540,000.
Nucatola said this is the first prize worth over $250,000 the Ellenton Pilot has sold, and the Travel Center will receive a $2,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.