John Spotswood of Oswego recently celebrated his 50th birthday with the usual flurry of phone calls and cards from family and friends. It wasn’t until the following day that the nuclear power plant technician opened a card from his sister and realized what a life changing experience some birthdays can be. 


“My sister left a birthday card with three scratch-offs in it and a cheesecake in the mailbox,” said the instrument control tech. “I won $25 on the first ticket. The winning Jumbo Bucks ticket was the last one I scratched.”


Spotswood scratched the $5 Lottery ticket and revealed an “Autowin” coin symbol with the word “Jackpot” printed beneath; making him $1,000,000 richer in an instant. Spotswood, who said he buys his own Lottery scratch-off tickets “about four or five times a month” with moderate success said he needed someone else to tell him if what he was seeing was real. “I brought the ticket upstairs to have my girlfriend verify it,” he said. “And then I treated everyone to breakfast.”


The $1,000,000 top prize on the Jumbo Bucks ticket is designed to be paid out in 20 annual installments; however, Spotswood opted to take the cash value of the annuity prize. As a result, he will receive a one-time payment of $840,000 (net $555,912). Spotswood said he planned to save a portion of his windfall to secure his retirement. Other plans for the money include buying a new car and taking a riverboat cruise.


Spotswood’s winning ticket was purchased at KTM Mini Mart at 2203 County Route 1 in Oswego.