PANAMA CITY BEACH — Now that’s a real special sauce. Jody Massengale, the general manager of Mellow Mushroom Pizza on Panama City Beach, has won $3 million in the Florida lottery.
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Massengale, 39, claimed the prize, which came from a Monopoly scratch off ticket, at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee on Tuesday, lottery officials said in a news release. Massengale chose the one-time, lump-sum payment for his winnings in the amount of $2,202,159. Winners who accept the long-term annual payments receive the full $3 million, but choosing a lump sum payment means the amount paid is reduced. He purchased the ticket from Lagoon Mart, located at 7807 North Lagoon Drive.
Massengale could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Owner Natheer “Nick” Asfour said his store had one other big winner about a year ago but that was less than $100,000.
“That’s good news for the guy who won the money,” Asfour said. Massengale was a regular at the store and regular lottery player, he added. “Probably, if I was to pick one who deserves that money, he deserves that money,” Asfour said. “I’m happy for him.”
The $20 Scratch-Off game, $3,000,000 Monopoly, launched on March 16 and offers more than $378 million in prizes, including 10 top prizes of $3 million and other prizes ranging from $20 to $500,000, lottery officials wrote in a news release. There are eight $3 million top prizes and eight $500,000 prizes remaining, they added. Massengale was lucky to buy the ticket in 2010 before the Bush tax cuts expire.
After word got out Tuesday about what had happened, the Lagoon Mart saw an increase in business, Asfour said. “Everybody wants to win some money now,” he added.