Naples man wins $1 million with scratch-off lottery ticket

Robert Benker, left, of Naples is congratulated by Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell and his nephew, David, while claiming his $1 million prize in a scratch-off lottery game.

Florida Lottery

Robert Benker, left, of Naples is congratulated by Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell and his nephew, David, while claiming his $1 million prize in a scratch-off lottery game.

A Collier County man’s pockets are a little fuller Friday after winning $1 million in a scratch-off lottery game.

The $10 ticket paid off for Robert Benker, 82, who chose a one-time, lump-sum payment of $700,000, according to the Florida Lottery, which announced the win.

Attempts to reach Benker for comment were unsuccessful. A Florida Lottery spokeswoman said the family preferred not to speak with the media.

Benker, who purchased the winning ticket at an East Naples Publix, 7101 Radio Road, told Lottery officials he was a frequent scratch-off player but this was his biggest win.

The timing was fortuitous for Benker’s family.

“My nephew, David, whom I am very close to, discovered he had cancer two years ago,” Benker said in a statement released by the Lottery on Friday. “So this prize is going to help us pay for some of the many treatments he is undergoing and it will make life more comfortable for both of us.”

Benker’s nephew was with him to receive the prize.

The odds of winning a prize in the Million Dollar Holiday game that Benker bought are 1 in 3.26, according to the Lottery.

Since last November, there have been four big-ticket lottery wins in Naples and Estero.

Most recently, a patron of Super Star Food Mart in East Naples won about $132,000 in the Fantasy 5 lottery in March.

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