Matthew Ehmka of Meriden Wins "$500,000 Club" Top Prize from the CT Lottery
Art Teacher "Paints a Pretty Picture" with $500,000 Prize
March 19, 2010 --
High school art teacher, Matthew Ehmka of Meriden, is quick to tell you that he has a positive “glass half full” outlook on life. And, today, he has every reason to feel especially optimistic — he played the $500,000 Club
instant ticket and minutes later became the game’s third winner of its half-million dollar Top Prize.
Ehmka quickly realized that a matching pair of “32’s” on his ticket made it a winner, but was completely floored when his efforts revealed the $500,000 win. Unsure of what he was seeing on the ticket, Ehmka returned it to the Lottery’s retailer to have for scanning and validation. “I asked him, ‘is this a joke?’ I just couldn’t believe it,” Ehmka told Lottery officials earlier this week as they processed his prize claim.
The "$500,000 Club" top prize is payable as either a 20-year annuity or as a one-time cash lump-sum equivalent. Ehmka, the third person to win a $500,000 prize in the game, chose to take the lump-sum payment of $289,200 and received a CT Lottery prize check for $198,102 (the value after taxes). “I’m going to pay off our mortgage, buy a safe car for the family and then invest the rest for the future,” said Ehmka.
AB Convenience Store at 259 Main Street, South Meriden was also very happy that Ehmka was a $500,000 winner; for selling the top prize winning ticket, AB Convenience Store will receive a $5,000 bonus check from the CT Lottery.