(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — A lucky 70-year-old Allegheny County resident was presented a check for $1 million on Friday after learning he won it off of a scratch-off.
Stephen Vanzuiden, 70, of Allegheny County, was presented the check for the PA Lottery Scratch-Off “$1 Million? Seriously” which he purchased on Sept. 22 and claimed on Sept. 25. The $20 scratch-off game went on sale in April 2023.
Vanzuiden noted in the PA Lottery announcement he has been a longtime player of the PA Lottery and was amazed to learn he had won $1 million.
Officials from the Pennsylvania Lottery and Buttermilk Hollow SHOP ‘n SAVE, a Lottery retailer, presented a commemorative check to Vanzuiden on Friday, Oct. 13.
The check presentation was held at Buttermilk Hollow SHOP ‘n SAVE, 4647 Buttermilk Hollow Road, West Mifflin, Allegheny County, where the winning ticket was sold. The store receives a $5,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
“I’ve been scratching [Lottery] tickets for more than 30 years and it became part of my hobby,” said Vanzuiden. “I started buying this ticket when it first came out and it never let me down. I often get my money back. I scratched the ticket at home, and it felt completely unrealistic when I saw the prize amount.”
After confirming his big win, Vanzuiden said he shared the winning news with family and close friends.
Vanzuiden, a retired salesman, said he plans to use his prize money to continue his hobby of flying and collecting silver coins from around the world. “I’m a licensed pilot and it’s an expensive hobby, so this will definitely help me.”
“I can’t seem to shake this feeling,” added Vanzuiden. “This has been an amazing ride.”
To determine if you won, players can review the ticket, scan it at a Lottery retailer or use the Ticket Checker feature on the Lottery’s Official App. Winners should immediately sign the back of the ticket, call the Lottery at 1-800-692-7481 and file a claim at the nearest Lottery office.
Scratch-Off prizes expire one year from the game’s end-sale date posted at palottery.com.