Tourist wins $1 million playing scratch-off Florida Lottery game

Pit stop during 17-hour road trip ends up paying off big for Garens family!

(Florida Lottery)

PALM COAST, Fla. – A 45-year-old tourist from Ohio won a whopping $1 million after making a pit stop at a gas station during his visit to Florida, Lottery officials announced Wednesday.

Solomon Garens, of Munroe Falls, Ohio, chose to receive his winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $795,000.

Garens says he purchased his winning ticket at a RaceTrac gas station during his 17-hour road trip to Florida from his hometown.

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

Garens’ wife joked that she had asked her husband to make a pit stop to grab some water a couple hours before he finally decided to take a rest.

He eventually stopped to pump gas at a RaceTrac in Palm Coast, bought his wife a water and decided to also purchase a scratch-off ticket.

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

Lottery officials say the gas station will receive a $2,000 bonus commission for selling the winning scratch-off ticket.

“The $20 Scratch-Off game, GOLD RUSH LIMITED, launched in September 2021 and features 32 top prizes of $5 million and 100 prizes of $1 million!” a news release from the Florida Lottery stated. “Additionally, this ticket is filled with over 33,000 prizes of $1,000 to $100,000! The game’s overall odds of winning are 1-in-2.65.”

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Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for