Tourist’s dream: Ohio man on vacation wins $1M scratch-off Florida Lottery game

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — That’s one way to pay for a vacation.

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An Ohio man making a pit stop at a gas station during a 17-hour drive to Florida won $1 million in a scratch-off game, Florida Lottery officials said Wednesday.

Solomon Garens, 45, of Munroe Falls, will receive his winnings in a lump-sum payment of $795,000, lottery officials said in a news release.

Garens said he bought the ticket at a RaceTrac station in Palm Coast, located about 64 miles south of Jacksonville.

“I was exhausted,” Garens said in a statement. “We had promised the kids we would visit family in Florida before summer ended.”

While driving south from his suburban Akron home, Garens said he finally stopped several hours after his wife asked him to make a pit stop for the family and to get her some water.

While inside the store, Garens bought a Gold Rush Limited scratch-off game for $20, lottery officials said.

“When I saw the million-dollar prize, I couldn’t believe it!” Garens said in a statement. “I guess the only bad news is this has added a four-hour detour to our trip.”

Diverting the family vacation to Tallahassee to pick up the $1 million prize is not a bad problem to have. Garens and his family received the prize on July 27.

The retailer also benefits. The outlet will receive a $2,000 bonus commission for selling the winning ticket.

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