PLATTSBURGH — David Fortune is really living up to his name.
The West Chazy man, 53, went to Kinney Drugs on Boynton Ave in August to purchase laundry detergent, but he really cleaned up after a $20 scratch-off lottery ticket he also bought there that day turned out to be worth $5 million.
“You always look to win the jackpot, but you never think you’re going to win,” Fortune told reporters following a press conference at the drug store Friday morning.
New York Lottery’s Jina Myers presented him with an oversized check and a replica of the actual winning $5,000,000 Cash! lottery ticket.
Fortune smiled for the cameras before divulging some details of how he plans to spend his winnings.
“I have some charities and other local things I regularly give to,” he said. “But this is really a gift from God. If he calls me to do something, I’m gonna do it.”
The top prize for the $5,000,000 Cash! scratch-off game is paid out in a lump sum, according to a press release from the New York Lottery.
After required withholdings are deducted, Fortune will receive a net check for $3,309,000.
He claimed the scratch-off game’s top prize on Aug. 20 at New York Lottery’s Schenectady Customer Service Center.
Fortune considers himself especially fortunate, as his winning ticket came close to ending up in the garbage.
He had hurriedly scratched it and designated it a non-winner before tossing it in a pile with other losers in his car.
Fortune figures the ticket sat amongst the pile of 20 or 30 tickets for at least a week and a half before he took another look at it while waiting at the laundromat.
“I do that a lot,” he said. “I comb through my losers looking for winners I missed.”
NO LONGER ‘MISFORTUNE’
He noticed the number 39 was on the ticket twice and matched the multi-million dollar prize.
Fortune said he had to scratch a lot of losing tickets before finally uncovering a winner.
“I’ve spent thousands (of dollars) over the years,” he said.
For now, he is considering purchasing a new car.
He recently left his job at Aero Enterprises in West Chazy to pursue an early retirement and plans on staying in the area.
“I’ll still probably play some scratch-offs,” he smiled.
Affectionately nicknamed “Mis-Fortune” and “Fortune Cookie” by friends over the years, he is finally getting the last laugh.
“I am not complaining anymore,” he said.
Fortune, who has two adult children, is the first person this year to claim a multi-million dollar prize in Clinton County.
Lottery officials said there have been a total of five winners of
$1 million or more in the county since 2000.
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