Sarasota man buys a $30 scratch-off lottery ticket and walks away a millionaire

A 27-year-old Sarasota man is the latest Florida millionaire after claiming one of the top prizes in the Gold Rush special edition scratch-off game.

Florida Lottery officials announced on Tuesday that Christopher Van Brandt has claimed $1 million in prize winnings after playing the $30 per ticket game that features prizes up to $15 million, which is the largest cash prize offered in the scratch-off lottery games.

Van Brandt purchased the winning ticket at the Suncoast Energy located at 5928 Butler National Drive in Orlando. The retailer will receive a $2,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

According to the Florida Lottery, more than $35 billion has been contributed toward education by lottery players and more than 808,000 students have received higher education through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

Since 1988, the Florida Lottery has paid out more than $65 billion in prizes and made more than 2,500 Floridians like Van Brandt millionaires in an instant.

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Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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