Lottery Winner Miguel Pilgram to Use Part of $52M Prize to Revitalize Street in Fort Lauderdale’s Oldest Black Community

In a Sept. 29, 2017 photo, Miguel Pilgram stands outside of the property in the 1400 block of Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale that he plans to transform into a blues club. Pilgram won a $52 million lottery in Miami-Dade seven years ago. He’s set his sights on Sistrunk Blvd., buying a piece of land and preparing to purchase another. He says he feels a moral obligation to invest in the black community, which has a rich history of activism and passion. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP Mike Stocker)

by Brittany Wallman via miamiherald.com

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. A childhood in the black community of Memphis. A cruise line career that delivered him to a life in South Florida. And a lottery ticket he bought at a gas station. A winning lottery ticket. They are the factors in Miguel Pilgram‘s life that bring him now to Sistrunk Boulevard, a corridor the county calls the “historical heartbeat of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest black community.”

Pilgram, who won a $52 million jackpot using quick-pick numbers in 2010, is investing some of his winnings in Sistrunk in a way not seen in years. Pilgram said he wants to breathe new vibrancy into the boulevard, building on its rich history as a place that nurtured civil rights leaders and pioneers and attracted people to its lively nightlife and music. “I was raised in a similar environment,” Pilgram said. “There is a need, and in my mind, an obligation, to invest there.”

The 48-year-old Coral Springs resident and father of two is rolling out plans for a New York Subs and Wings restaurant with a Memphis Blues club upstairs, on one side of Sistrunk. On the other, his company, The Pilgram Group, plans a retail complex with a bank, Jamba Juice and other shops on the ground floor. On the second floor, a performing arts center will offer below-market rates for instructors of dance, arts, and music. “Do you know how impactful that is for a child from any of these areas, who is like me, to come out and see people actually painting in the window, or performing on a saxophone?” Pilgram said. “That creates a fire under most children. Now they say, wow, anything out there that’s creative, I can be. Whatever artist I want to be, I can be.”

Back in Memphis, Pilgram said he had role models who shaped him. His father was hard-working. His mother was a devout Seventh-day Adventist who had him in church several days a week. When he got older, he joined the Navy. Then he embarked on a career in the cruise line industry, climbing to a top position, and learning to work with large budgets like the one now under his own name.In his world travels, he said he visited cultures where people marveled at his “beautiful” brown skin. He said he wants children in Fort Lauderdale’s historic black community to experience that feeling of value as an African American. But he also saw what can happen when private investment is lacking, he said, and government comes in to rebuild.

In Memphis, he said, his grandmother’s apartment was razed, and the residents displaced. He feared it could happen here, and said that’s one thing that drew him to Sistrunk Boulevard. ‘It could be you’ Every week, Pilgram spent $20 on lottery tickets. But he wasn’t good about checking them. Then one night he ran to the Shell gas station in North Bay Village where he bought his tickets. He left chicken cacciatore and his girlfriend at home, and was in a hurry. He just needed a bottle of wine. David, the gas station employee, was insistent. Someone had bought the winning Florida Lotto ticket at that gas station, he told Pilgram, and “it could be you.” Pilgram got the tickets from his car, and one of them hit: 15-16-20-32-45-50. David started “jumping up and down,” Pilgram said.”$52,000?” Pilgram thought he heard through David’s Spanish accent. No, not thousand. 52 million.

Sistrunk Boulevard hasn’t had a nightclub with live music like Pilgram plans in at least 25 years, City Commissioner Robert McKinzie said. The boulevard was once vibrant. Now, vacant lots and empty buildings sit on many of the blocks. The city, a major landowner on Sistrunk, has worked for years to encourage private investment. McKinzie said the pieces are finally falling into place, and he’s “excited” about Pilgram’s role in it. “Now that we are reviving it,” McKinzie said of Sistrunk Boulevard, “his plan and concept fit right in.” Next to Pilgram’s planned performing arts center, on the north side of Sistrunk between Northwest 14th Way and 14th Terrace, the city recently agreed to spend $10 million building a new YMCA where the old Mizell Center is.

To read full article, go to: Lottery winner to use part of $52M to transform street | Miami Herald

Family in New Jersey Wins $429 Million Lottery, Uses Money to Fight Poverty

The Smith Family (photo via thegrio.com)

via thegrio.com

Last year, the Smith family in Trenton, New Jersey, won the $429 million Powerball lottery, and they planned to use all that money to help fight poverty. Pearlie Mae Smith and her seven children meant what they said at a press conference when they promised to give that money back to their community.

“It was like affirmation from God because we each have dreams that we want to fulfill in this life, and do for our community and do for each other and for our families and we have been funded to do that,” Smith’s daughter Valerie Arthur said last year when the family won about $25 million apiece after taxes when they decided to take their winnings in a lump sum.

They used the money to pay off bills and student loans before they put it back into their community with the Smith Family Foundation. “We want to fund programs that directly affect systems of poverty so we can help change the systems or change the dynamics that are causing people to be in poverty,” Harold Smith told NJ.com. “Rather than just helping them find food or give away food, we can make it so they now have the ability to obtain employment, get their proper education in order to be able to go out and get their own food.”

The foundation will work with the city in order to provide both long- and short-term grants for Trenton.

Source: Family wins $429 million lottery, aims to use money to fight poverty | theGrio

Queens Man Patrick Clarke Wins $5M in Lottery Scratchoff from Bodega

Lottery Winner Patrick Clarke (photo via thegrio.com)

article via thegrio.com

Patrick Clarke just won $5 million from the $10 Set for Life lottery scratch off. Clarke bought the winning ticket on December 20 at the Friendly Deli & Grocery on Saratoga Ave. in Brooklyn. “It feels good,” said Clarke. “It means I won’t have to worry so much. There will always be something to worry about, but for once, it won’t be about money.”

He said that he scratched off the winning ticket at his girlfriend’s home and then immediately began to celebrate.“I started laughing and dancing all around the house!” he said. He had to call his mother first before anyone else, because it had been her birthday present of $50 that he had used to purchase two tickets from the store that day. She at first misunderstood, thinking that when he said he “got life” that he meant he was going to prison, which sent her into worry and then confusion when Clarke tried to explain that he had won the lottery.

“At first she didn’t believe me,” Clarke said. “She said ‘stop playing with me.’”Clarke is not sure what he will do with his winnings, but he said that he will likely keep his job at the airport.

To read more, go to: Queens man wins $5M in lottery scratchoff from bodega | theGrio

Marie Holmes, 26 Year-Old Mother of Four, Wins $188 Million of Powerball Jackpot

Marie Holmes (pictured) is one very lucky lady. The mother of four just happened to be one of Wednesday’s huge Powerball winners, and will share the $564 million jackpot. Holmes’ reported cut from the mega winnings will be a not-too-shabby $188 million before taxes, according to WGN-TV.

The 26-year-old Wilmington, North Carolina woman, who has a special needs child with cerebral palsy, is still reeling from the news. “I don’t think it’s really hit me,” she said. “I guess when it hits my account is when it’s really going to hit me, but I’m thankful that I can bless my kids with something that I didn’t have.”

Holmes, who does not regularly purchase lottery tickets, said she was struggling before her win.  Upon seeing that her numbers matched the winning Powerball drawing ones, Holmes thought she was going to have a heart attack and screamed so loudly, she scared her children, one boy and three girls.

So what will the young mom do with all of the money?  “First I ‘m going to pay my tithes because I wouldn’t have none of it if it wasn’t for God.  After that I’m going to set up accounts for my kids,” she told WGN-TV.   “And when we figure out where we’re going to live, I’m going to buy a house for me and my kids, then make sure my family is all good.”

Holmes, whose uncle actually sold her the winning ticket, was unemployed and looking for a job.  She is only too glad that now she no longer has to depend on anyone financially. “I don’t have to worry about the word struggle no more and neither do they (her children).”

Does Holmes have any trepidation with regards to how her entire life will now drastically change?

“I am ready for it, ready to embrace the change!  I am very grateful for what is about to happen to my family,” she told WGN-TV.  “Everything is all for them.  My kids can go to college, all on me, and they don’t have to worry about nothing.  My granddaddy, my daddy, my sisters, they don’t have to worry about nothing, we made it.”

article by Ruth-Manuel Logan via newsone.com

Retired Brooklyn Bus Driver Frederick McClendon Cruising On Easy Street by Winning $7M Lottery

Frederick McClendon (pictured), a Brooklyn retired city bus driver, will be living the good life from here on in, after claiming his winnings in the New York Lottery’s Cash4Life draw game and winning the top prize of $7 million, according to the New York Daily News.

The 51-year-old young retiree purchased his winning tickets from a liquor store in his borough on November 24th then checked his numbers the day after the drawing. When McClendon returned to the liquor store to check on the numbers that had been drawn, the clerk actually told him that a winning ticket had been purchased there.

The news increased his urgency to see if he had won, “I checked my ticket right in the store, and the store clerk gave me a printout of the results,” McClendon told Newsday. “That’s when I knew I had won big.”

When he told his wife and family about his run of luck, they didn’t believe him; they kept saying, “It’s just like, you’re lying.”

McClendon decided to claim his winnings at the Lottery headquarters on December 1 and a lump sum payment of $4.3 million after withholdings is his payment preference.

McClendon plans on spending his winnings on his family and setting up some college funds for the children.  “It’s about my family,” he told the New York Daily News. “I love my family.”

article by Ruth Manuel-Logan via newsone.com

Georgia Resident Gregory Jarrett Cleans Room, Finds $1 Million Powerball Ticket

Gregory Jarrett

Decatur resident Gregory Jarrett, 26, found a winning $1 million Powerball ticket while cleaning his room. (Photo Credit: Georgia Lottery)

This story might get a few folks cleaning house more often — according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Decatur, GA resident Gregory Jarrett, 26, found a forgotten, winning $1 million Powerball ticket while cleaning his room.  “I was sitting on the ticket and didn’t even know it,” Jarrett said.

Jarrett matched the first five winning numbers in the January 15 drawing and claimed his prize February 18.  He bought the ticket at the Northside Food Mart in the 500-block of 548 Northside Drive N.W.  He used his siblings’ birthdays when selecting the winning numbers.

“I called for my mom, and I walked toward her, shaking,” he recalled. “She verified it, and at that point, we hugged.”  Jarrett said he will pay off bills with the winnings.

Saturday’s Powerball jackpot is an estimated $60 million to a single annuity winner. The Mega Millions game is up to $216 million for Friday’s drawing.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

Ira Curry: Georgia Mega Millions Winner To Claim $173.8 Million

Ira-Curry

Georgia lottery officials said a Mega Millions winner came forward today to claim her share of the $636 million jackpot.  Ira Curry, of Stone Mountain, Ga., is $318 million richer and is one of two lucky ticket holders who will split the second largest jackpot in the game’s history.  Lottery officials said Curry purchased the ticket in Atlanta at Gateway Newsstand and chose the numbers herself by picking family birthdays and throwing in the lucky number seven.

Georgia Lottery chief executive Debbie Alford said Curry, who has so far stayed out of the spotlight, plans to take the lump sum payout, a cool $123 million after taxes.  A second winning ticket was sold in San Jose, Calif., at Jenny’s Gift Shop, California lottery officials said. That person has not yet come forward.  The winning numbers from Tuesday night’s drawing were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7.

The $636 million jackpot grew from a modest $12 million prize in October. Twenty-one winless drawings later, it became the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, according to lottery officials. The record jackpot was a $656 million Mega Millions prize in March 2012.  Last October, Mega Millions changed its rules to increase the jackpot by lowering the odds of winning. The chance of winning the jackpot is now about 1 in 259 million. Before the rules changed, the odds were 1 in 176 million.

Mega Millions revamped its game after Powerball ticket prices doubled from $1 to $2 in January 2012, accounting for the swelling jackpots and tons of media attention.  Mega Millions is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

article via newsone.com