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USD 25 MIllion Lotto Winner Stashed Her Ticket For Weeks Before Cashing It In

A lotto winner who won an astonishing USD 25 million on a scratchcard after previously winning USD 1 million has told how she hid the winning ticket and then flew off on a Caribbean holiday with her fiance.

Photo shows Desiree Fortini-Craft, undated. The Hyde Park resident won $25 million instant prize on ticket sold in West Roxbury. (Massachusetts Lottery/Newsflash)

Thrilled Desiree Fortini-Craft, from the city of Boston, in the US state of Massachusetts, won the vast sum in November.

But rather than put off a planned holiday on the paradise island Aruba she stashed the ticket in a safe place and claimed her prize weeks later on Friday, 1st December.

Desiree could be forgiven for being a touch cavalier as she previously won USD 1 million (GBP 789,510) on a scratchcard in 2006.

Now, say lotto officials, she’s planning a Christmas trip to Aruba with fiance Jason Perkins.

At Boston lottery headquarters she could choose between taking the prize in annual installments or a one-time payment.

Desiree chose the lump sum and went home with USD 16.25 million (GBP 12.81 million) before state and federal taxes.

Massachusetts State Lottery said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “She said that they want to enjoy life, they are hard workers, and they plan on having a really good Christmas in Aruba.”

Desiree said she plans to use some of the winnings to pay off her three daughters’ student loans, make some family purchases, and buy a new car.

Photo shows Baker Street Market, 419 Baker St. in West Roxbury, undated. Desiree Fortini-Craft bought her winning ticket there. (Google Maps/Newsflash)

Lottery representatives said: “Fortini-Craft purchased her winning ticket at Baker Street Market, 419 Baker Street in West Roxbury.

“The store receives a USD 50,000 [GBP 39,469] bonus for its sale of this ticket.”

They continued: “The USD 25 million [GBP 19 million] prize is the largest instant prize ever offered by the Mass Lottery.

“While all three USD 25 million [GBP 19 million] prizes have now been claimed in the ‘Billion Dollar Extravaganza’ game, tickets will remain available for purchase as seven of the game’s fifteen USD 1 million [GBP 789,510] grand prizes and four of the game’s five USD 2 million [GBP 1.5 million] grand prizes have yet to be claimed.”

“With over USD 1.2 billion [GBP 946 million] in total prizes and an overall prize payout of 82 per cent, ‘Billion Dollar Extravaganza’ has the largest amount of total prize money and the highest payout percentage of any game ever offered by the Mass Lottery.

“The odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 4.10.”

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