Hard-Working Middletown Mechanic Wins $1,000,000 Prize

Small-Business Owner Scores Big on $500,000,000 Extravaganza

SCHENECTADY, NY (06/11/2009)(readMedia)-- Forty-six year old Robert Whitby will certainly have great memories of this past Memorial Day as the day he became $1,000,000 richer. Whitby was taking a much needed break as the owner of Rob's Towing & Auto Repair, when he stopped at his local Cumberland Farms for a coffee and two lottery tickets - a Win For Life Spectacular and his winning $500,000,000 Extravaganza ticket.

"I scratched my tickets in my driveway directly after buying them," said Whitby, the father of two. "When I realized I'd won, I screamed so loud my neighbors ran out to my car to see what was wrong!"

Whitby purchased the $1,000,000 winning $500,000,000 Extravaganza ticket on May 25, 2009 at the Cumberland Farms on East Main Street in Middletown. He claimed the ticket the following day at the Lottery's Hudson Valley Customer Service Center in Fishkill.

As is the case with most New York Lottery instant game prizes, the third prize on the $500,000,000 Extravaganza ticket is paid as a 20-year annuity. Whitby will receive his prize in annual payments of $50,000 a year before required tax withholdings. His annual net check will total $33,015.

After working almost seven days a week for the past twenty years, it is no surprise Whitby's big plans for his winnings include a vacation. "I'm taking my family on a cruise," he said. "Then, I want to take a trip to Disney World and have lunch with Mickey Mouse," he joked.

Whitby is the forth Orange County millionaire of 2009. His good friend Richard Plant, also from Middletown, similarly won the third prize on the $500,000,000 Extravaganza ticket in April 2008. Whitby and Plant run the demolition derby together at the Orange County Fair.

The Lottery's popular $500,000,000 Extravaganza ticket features a variety of cash prizes ranging from $20 to $5,000,000. The $20 scratch off game features 84 cash prizes worth $1,000,000 each; 12 cash prizes of $2,000,000 each; and eight top prizes worth $5,000,000 each. As of this writing, there were 28 of the $1,000,000 prizes remaining as well as five of the $2,000,000 and four of the $5,000,000 prizes, respectively.

The New York Lottery contributed nearly $2.54 billion in fiscal year 2008-9 to help support education in New York State, over 12 percent of total state education funding to local school districts. The Lottery's ongoing commitment to education also includes the awarding of more than 1,100 Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) Scholarships annually to high school students pursuing their higher education in New York State. Since 1999, the Lottery has awarded more than 11,500 scholarships representing a total commitment of almost $50 million. The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, earning over $36.7 billion in education support statewide since its founding over 40 years ago.