Park Ranger Wins Lottery While Furloughed During Shutdown

February 22, 2019 Updated: February 22, 2019

TRENTON, N.J.—A park ranger furloughed during the partial federal government shutdown has claimed a $29.5 million lottery jackpot.

The New Jersey Lottery on Wednesday, Feb. 20, announced Judith Smith had purchased the winning Dec. 17 Pick-6 ticket days before the shutdown closed the Fort Wadsworth recreation area in Staten Island, New York.

The Bayonne, New Jersey, resident and her two children put the ticket in a safe place while seeking legal and financial advice before claiming the jackpot.

Federal worker won big on lotto ticket

A park ranger furloughed during the partial federal government shutdown has claimed a $29.5 million lottery jackpot.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt 发布于 2019年2月21日周四

The Pick-6 jackpot is the state’s largest since May 2004.

Smith works for the National Park Service, out of the historic Fort Wadsworth site in Staten Island, New York, which was impacted by the shutdown.

The government shutdown ended last month.

More Impressive 2019 Lottery Winners

Earl Livingston, of Blackwood, New Jersey, was on his way to a local store to buy a lottery ticket when he fell and broke his hip. After being taken to Jefferson Stratford Hospital, the 87-year-old shared with hospital staff about his disappointment.

“He told them he was on his way to buy a lottery ticket and he was disappointed that he didn’t get it,” Livingston’s niece, Bobbie Mickle, told NBC10. “So they said, ‘Why don’t you go in with us? We’re also buying a lottery ticket.’”

With that, Livingston joined 141 hospital staff in the hospital’s lottery pool, in which each staff member had contributed $2.

They ended up winning a $1 million ticket, and each participant took home roughly $4,500 after taxes.

Congratulations to the newly formed "Stratford Millionaires Club!" 141 employees and one patient from Jefferson Health -…

Jefferson Health 发布于 2018年10月25日周四

Livingston’s nieces were skeptical at first, and wondered if the news was real.

“I didn’t believe him when I got here,” Mickle said. “I thought he was confused, maybe from pain meds. And then the staff came into the room and they were saying congratulations. And I was like, ‘Wow, he really did win.’”

His family members were most grateful to the staff’s assistance.

Another lucky person from Long Island purchased the winning ticket to the year’s first Mega Millions drawing, held on Jan. 1. That ticket is worth $425 million.

That is the eighth largest jackpot in Mega Millions history, CNN reported. It is also only the second time a winner was picked on Jan. 1, out of five instances when the first drawing of the year was on the first day of the year.

The winning ticket was purchased at Brookville Auto Service in the Town of Oyster Bay, Long Island.

The Lottery–a Voluntary School Tax

The lottery is not just a state-sponsored gambling service. The lottery is actually designed to raise funds for schools.

Most schools are funded by property taxes, which means schools in poorer neighborhoods—which often need the most help—generally have the smallest budgets. This can reflect in facility maintenance, teacher retention, special program availability, and ultimately the outcome of each child’s education.

New York Lottery revenue, according to the lottery website, is “distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education.

New York Lottery
New York Lottery Powerball tickets are displayed in a store in N.Y.C., on Aug 22, 2017. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

“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.”

The New York Lottery is North America’s largest and most profitable state lottery, raising $3.37 million in education aid in the 2017-2018 fiscal year—13 percent of the state’s education aid budget.

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