Miami-Dade County

South Florida is a good place to play lottery games lately — especially for these 2 men

Florida Lottery names winners in the $1 million and more range.
Florida Lottery names winners in the $1 million and more range. Facebook

Two men — one from Hialeah and the other from Miami — can join the ranks of South Florida millionaires.

That’s because both won at least $1 million (not counting the tax man’s take) in Florida Lottery games in May.

The big winner was Jean Claude Sam, 68, of Miami, who claimed a $2 million prize from the Powerball drawing held on May 4, the Florida Lottery announced.

Sam’s winning ticket matched five of the white ball numbers but did not match the Powerball, which had a jackpot north of $200 million. But why quibble?

Sam purchased his winning ticket from the Publix at 5715 NW Seventh St. in Miami. The store gets a $5,000 bonus commission for selling the winning ticket.

On Thursday, the Florida Lottery announced that Leonardo Hernandez Rodriguez, 74, of Hialeah, is the latest local to claim a $1 million top prize from the $5 Gold Rush Classic Scratch-Off game. He opted for the one-time lump-sum payment of $705,000.

Hernandez Rodriguez bought his winning ticket from the Super Discount at 1104 West 29th St. in Hialeah. The retailer receives a $2,000 bonus commission.

The Lottery also said Vicky Brymer of Jacksonville recently won $500,000 from the Crossword Extra Play scratch-off game.

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.