For Rochester Win For Life Lottery Winner, Success Is Better Measured by Degrees

ROCHESTER, NY (06/14/2011)(readMedia)-- Tawanda Almedino of Rochester started her career at Monroe Community Hospital in the food service department in 1999. Today, you'll find the thirty-four-year-old mother of three, now a Licensed Practical Nurse, tending to patients at the long-term care facility by day and studying for her Registered Nursing degree at night. And, Almedino, New York's newest winner on the Win $1,000 A Week For Life instant game, said she won't let her sudden wealth get in the way on her long-term plans.

"I set out to get my degree as a Registered Nurse and that's what I plan to do," said the determined winner. "Winning the Lottery is exciting, but it doesn't change my mind. I plan to continue working at [Monroe Community Hospital] and finish school. That's the goal I've set for myself."

Almedino bought her $2 Win $1,000 A Week For Life scratch off ticket on May 20th at the Wegman's on Chili Avenue in Rochester. She claimed her prize on May 23rd at the Lottery's Customer Service Center in Rochester's First Federal Plaza on East Main Street.

"I buy a few Lottery tickets a month but, I have to admit, I never have too much luck," said the surprised winner. "When I scratched the three 'life' symbols and realized what I won I managed to stay pretty calm. It was my co-workers who started screaming and jumping up and down."

Like all "For Life" top prizes, the guaranteed minimum prize on the Win $1,000 A Week For Life ticket is paid as a 20-year annuity. Almedino will receive her $1,000,000 minimum prize in 19 annual payments of $52,000 (net $34,336) and one additional payment of $12,000 (net $7,924). After she's received her guaranteed $1,000,000, she will continue to receive annuitized payments for life. Almedino plans to use a portion of her prize to help pay college costs for herself and her children. As for her other plans, the working mother said she wants to keep it simple.

"I already have a good job, a nice home and three healthy kids. I always told them if I won the Lottery, I would take us all on a trip to Disney. I want to make good on my promise."

The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing over $3 billion in fiscal year 2010-2011 to help support education in New York State. The Lottery's aid represents over 15 percent of total state education funding to local school districts.

New York Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education. It takes into account both a school district's size and its income level; larger, lower-income school districts receive proportionately larger shares of Lottery school funding.