David Fortune walked out of the Kinney Drugs on Boynton Avenue in Plattsburgh Friday -- not with a prescription -- but his pockets filled with cash.
"You always look to win the jackpot, but you never really think you are going to," he said.
The 53-year-old says he has won thousands playing the lottery over the years. He mainly buys scratch off tickets, claiming the chances of winning are better. Fortune's largest single prize until today... "Probably a thousand dollars in Vermont," he said.
But a $20 investment to purchase a "$5,000,000 Cash!" scratch-off ticket -- a game he regularly plays, turned into an instant fortune for the man from West Chazy, New York. "I think I came here to get laundry detergent," he said.
The odds of winning the grand prize are one in 2.8 million. The father of two grown children gets to keep $3.3 million dollars after taxes. Enough for him to retire early from his manufacturing job. "I'm still going to go there and train the new guy," Fortune said.
The million dollar question -- how does Fortune plan on spending his new $3.3 million dollar fortune. "I have some charities and local things that I give to and I go to church," he said. "Maybe get a new vehicle."
It's money that Fortune almost threw in the trash. The ticket had been in his car for more than a week last month and he was giving it one last look while sitting at the laundromat. "I thought it was a losing ticket, so I stuck down in the seat with all my other losing tickets. Didn't even remember where I bought it. I probably had 20 or 30 other losing tickets down there," he said. "I check them before I throw them out for this very reason."
"Generally about two percent of prizes go unclaimed in any fiscal year--last year it was around $36 million," said Jina Myers, a N.Y. Lottery Spokeswoman.
Fortune says his "unfortunate" last name has made him the center of many jokes. "When I was a kid -- fortune cookie, fortune teller, wife was a misfortune," he laughed.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:30:10 GMT
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.State Police say Route 5 in Derby Line is closed near Caswell Avenue because of a hole in the pavement just a couple of feet over the lineMore >>
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
It was a storm that left residents with more damage than they could have ever imagined. "The basement has about 13 inches of water," said Bob Genter of Underhill. And preparing for the aftermath of theMore >>
Flash floods left destruction across the region. And the rain is not over. Heavy downpours left some people trapped in their neighborhoods as emergency crews work to try to clear the roads.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:54:18 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:20:50 GMT
As the cleanup gets underway from Thursday night's flash flooding, the focus shifts now to the broader impacts of rising rivers from around the region. All the rain so far and more to come is running intoMore >>
All the rain is running into larger streams and rivers that are moving rapidly toward flood stage.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:44:50 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
Over the river and throught the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, its the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door. Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turnedMore >>
Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:25:14 GMT
A rainy Vermont City Marathon forecast isn't slowing down runners or organizers. "Well, we're going to make some liquid sunshine out of all of this rain. That's the only choice we've got right now," saidMore >>
The countdown is on to this weekend's Vermont City Marathon and final preps are underway. Those finishing touches are coming in the rain, but organizers say the weather isn't slowing things down.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:35 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:35:15 GMT
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex. The parade is held annually on the Saturday morning of the holiday weekend. But after all the rain and flooding damageMore >>
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex.More >>