September 27, 2021
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An unusual way to spend lottery winnings

An unusual way to spend lottery winnings

No matter where you come from and who you are, it is without a doubt almost everyone’s dream to win the lottery. Each of us has our own list of things that we would do if we were to win the lottery, many lists include donating to some charity or to some good cause. But it is not until you actually win the jackpot that you will know what it is that you will do with all that money. On the 25th of March 2011 John Kutey (54) and IT specialist, and 6 of his co-workers (John Hilton (57), Gabrielle Mahar (29), Tracy Sussman (41), Mike Barth (63), Kristin Baldwin (42) and Leon Peck (62)) from the New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal shared in the winnings of the $319 million jackpot. Kutey and his colleagues decided that should they win, they would all jointly accept the winnings as a lump sum amount rather than monthly payments.



Mike Barth was the one to purchase the joint, winning ticket. Mike says that he was waiting in line on Friday to purchase the ticket for himself and his c-workers at an Albany newsstand when he reached out to purchase a snickers bar. A guy cut in-front of in and instead of complaining, he just let him carry on and purchase his ticket. He then purchased the Quick Pick ticket that made them millionaires. An outcome that could’ve been very different should the person who cut him off not have been there that day. John Kutey recalls that when he learned that he had won the jackpot his hands shook so much that he couldn’t dial a phone. Each of his colleagues had a different idea of how they were intending on immediately spending some of their winnings. All Gabrielle Mahar wanted was to buy a much needed new dishwasher. Mike Barth explained that he really needed a new set of tires and to pay for a college education for his son. John Hilton wanted the opportunity to fly somewhere first class. John Kutey said the choice was very simple, him and his wife wanted to visit every Disney Park there is.


When the dust settled and the money had been received John Kutey decided that instead of donating his winnings to charities, he wanted to build a $250 000 water park in New York at no cost to local tax payers. Spray Park, the refurbished park from the 1940’s, opened in Green Island, New York on July 1, 2013.  The water park was dedicated to both John and his wife Linda Kuteys parents.


John believed that it would be wonderful if all the joint winners shared the same sentiment and invested money on the improvement of their community – together the impact would be great. Wouldn’t you like to invest in a water park, or a theme park? Your chances of winning can be improved by playing lotteries from all over the world.

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