Fleet Marine Force Corpsman Joseph Collins, 23, showed up at lottery headquarters in Rocky Hill on Monday to cash in his $2 million Big Money ticket, the lottery announced in a press release Friday.
After serving a tour of duty in Iraq and another in Afghanistan, Collins, recently moved home to Mystic to fulfill his military commitment at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton.
Collins purchased the ticket at on East Main Street in downtown Mystic. When Collins scratched and revealed a matching pair of “11’s” on his Big Money instant ticket, he handed it over to the clerk without checking the prize amount.
“He scanned it and told me, ‘You’re a $2 million dollar winner!’ I didn’t believe him,” Collins said in the release.
Clerk Johnny Vohra told Patch Collins purchased mulitple tickets and won on two others; $100 and $20. When Collins saw he won on a third, he asked Vohra to check it.
"I told him it was $2 million. He couldn't believe it," Vohra said.
According to CT Lottery officials it's been a lucrative summer for many lottery players.
“Between July and August, it's been a 'Month of Millionaires.' In just this past week, the Lottery has awarded three prizes of $1 million or more to winners. It’s exciting, and has really made this a summer of fun for players!” said Diane Patterson, Vice President of Sales and
Marketing for the CT Lottery, in the release.
Big Money, debuted in April of 2009. The Big Money $2 million top prize is payable as a 20-year annuity or as a one-time cash lump-sum equivalent.