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Photo of Deputy Director Neysa Thomas, Cynthia Cote and Anthony Amato

Friday, February 15, 2013

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Karie Lowe
(785) 296-5744   Email

Wichita Resident has Valentine's Day Luck Winning $75,000 Top Prize

This Valentine's Day will a memorable one for Anthony Amato and his mom Cynthia Cote.  Before going to work yesterday, Amato purchased two $10 Kansas Casinos instant scratch tickets, winning a $75,000 top prize on one.  Showing his love for his family on Valentine's Day, Amato decided to share half of his winnings with his mom.

"I've been buying lottery tickets since I turned 18," said the 25-year-old Wichita resident.  "The most I've won before now was $100.  My favorite game is the $2 Bonus Crossword ticket, but yesterday I noticed there were only two tickets left of the Kansas Casinos game and decided to try my luck.  One of the tickets I bought was number 28 and that's my birthday, so I thought it might bring me some luck.  I was right!  I won $75,000 on ticket number 28.  My mom has always said I was lucky."

Amato, who works for Sonic Drive Thru, scratched his tickets during a break from work.  When he realized he had won a top prize, he signed the back of his ticket and kept it in his pocket for safe keeping.

"I had to show my coworkers my ticket before they believed I'd won," said Amato.  "My mom was just getting off work when I called her.  She asked me 20 questions about my win.  She was worried I might have looked at the ticket wrong."

After assuring his mom he had indeed won $75,000, Amato left work a little early and placed his winning ticket underneath his mattress until he was able to claim his ticket today at Lottery headquarters in Topeka.

"This experience has been very exciting," said Amato.  "And sharing it with my mom makes me very happy.  It's nice to be able to help her out."

After sharing half of his winnings with his mom, Amato also plans to purchase a newer vehicle and take the rest of his family on a cruise.  Amato's mom, who accompanied her son to claim his prize, plans to invest her portion of the winnings.

The winning ticket was purchased at Evan's Corner, located at 2828 E. 21st St. in Wichita.

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