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Two men hit it big in lottery

LAWRENCEVILLE - Eduardo Garcia says he'll opt for the practical over the romantic.

He's using his lottery winnings to pay bills. And then he'll tuck the rest in savings.

Garcia, 38, recently stopped for a soft drink at a Texaco gas station on Lawrenceville Highway in Lilburn. There he bought a Jumbo Bucks Classic lottery ticket and took it home.

After scratching the ticket clean, Garcia realized he'd won a top prize in the Georgia Lottery instant game - $50,000.

"I screamed so loud my family rushed over to me," he said. "When they saw that I'd won, they became excited too."

Garcia and his wife, Luc, have two children. The couple say they'll pay bills and save the remainder.

"My friends have always told me that I'm lucky. I played, and I won," he said. "I feel lucky, and that's the point."

Elsewhere in Lawrenceville, Garth Cole, 46, is rejoicing after checking a lottery ticket he bought two months ago.

Cole matched all six winning numbers in the Oct. 24 Win for Life drawing and won $1,000 a week for a year. He bought the ticket that will keep on giving at a Shell Food Mart on Duluth Highway in Lawrenceville.

Cole decided recently to compare his numbers to those on the Georgia Lottery Web site.

"This is unbelievable," he said. "I've never seen anything like this."

Cole works as a field engineer manager and has three children. He also plans to pay bills with his winnings.

Win for Life is a multi-state game played in Georgia, Virginia and Kentucky. As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Win for Life will benefit education in the state of Georgia, said lottery spokeswoman Kimberly Lundy.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corporation has returned more than $9.5 billion to the state of Georgia for education, officials said.