"We normally make the media event something recreational for the millionaires, like a sport," said Gary Gonder, director of communications for the Missouri Lottery. "This year, we thought it would be nice to do something for those less fortunate and give something back."
The 20 jackpot winners represented combined winnings of more than $113 million.
“Each year, we organize the reunion and the millionaires are responsible for paying their own way,” said Gonder. “The reunions serve several purposes. They are a great chance for the millionaires to meet others who have experienced such a life change. Reunions are also a good time for the Lottery to present issues that affect the winners, and the events provide a great opportunity for the media to interview jackpot winners many months or even years after their win."
In addition to working at the Harvesters Community Food Network, the Lottery winners were presented with two seminars: one titled "How to Maximize Your Charitable Gifts" by Pat Cundiff of the Heart of America United Way; and one on "How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft" presented by Detective Doug Monroe of the Kansas City Police Department.
Since the Lottery began in January 1986, 185 Missouri Lottery jackpot tickets ranging from $1 million to $69 million, have been sold. These jackpot prizes total close to $1.2 billion.
(Note – The Lottery will broadcast b-roll from the event on Monday night, June 23, between 6:45 and 6:55 p.m. For more information on the uplink, contact Frank Finley at 573-751-2721.)