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Retired teacher, two 20-somethings win big

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Posted at 2:01 PM, Dec 02, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-27 14:01:52-05

A retired teacher and two people in their 20s are among Western New York’s latest NYS Lottery winners.

All three, who won a combined $7 million, were awarded ceremonial checks on Tuesday.

Two of the winners won on “Franklin’s Fortune,” a scratch-off game.

Twenty-five-year-old Phillip Alger of Buffalo won $3 million. He said he only had a $20 bill, and though he usually doesn’t buy $10 tickets, he went for two at the Ontario Best Value on Ontario Street after seeing Benjamin Franklin’s face. He lost on the first ticket but won big on the second.

Alger has five children and plans to pay bills, get a new car, set up college funds and possibly invest in a franchise. He will receive his winnings in a lump sum payment of $1,489,050 after required withholdings.

John Fisher, 21, of Lima is the other big winner on the “Franklin’s Fortune” scratch-off game, also winning $3 million. The father of one, who bought his ticket at Finger Lakes Express on East Main Street in Avon, says he feels like all his problems are gone and looks forward to setting up his daughter for life.

Western New York’s final millionaire is Raymond Stankovic, a retired teacher from Batavia, who won $1 million on Powerball. He said after he presented his ticket at the 7-Eleven on East Main Street, the clerk had to pick him up off the floor.

He told his wife of 50 years about the win, but she didn’t believe him at first. Now they’re planning on buying a small house in Florida and visiting relative in California.