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Lithonia HVAC contractor wins $1 million

Photo by Johnny Jackson
Georgia Lottery winner Donald Colbert and his wife, Janis Colbert (front, center), are shown with their family members.

Photo by Johnny Jackson Georgia Lottery winner Donald Colbert and his wife, Janis Colbert (front, center), are shown with their family members.

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

In an instance, things fell into order for Lithonia resident, Donald Colbert.

The 46-year-old said he was headed home the evening of May 17, after an impromptu viewing of an NBA playoff game at a local sports bar.

He said he decided along the way to stop by a favorite convenience store to try his luck at the Georgia Lottery. He purchased a $10 instant game ticket -- the $100 Million Cash Blast scratch-off -- and he won $1 million.

"I feel overwhelmed with it," said Colbert, upon receiving confirmation from Georgia Lottery officials.

Colbert purchased the ticket at the Chevron Party Store, located at 6105 Ga. Highway 155 North, in Stockbridge, about five miles away from his home.

Chevron Party Store Co-owner Rashmi Sheth, and cashier Gora Mukherjee, know Colbert as a regular customer.

Mukherjee noted the Lithonia man is the third big lottery winner at the store in the past two weeks. He said the store sold two other scratch-off tickets for the King's Ransom instant game, worth $3,500 each. The cashier also pointed to a poster mounted near the front door of the store, indicating that $250,000 was won at the store on Feb. 11, 2008.

"We want some more winning tickets," said Mukherjee.

Colbert said he won big once before at the Stockbridge convenience store. He said he won $2,500 in the lottery's Jumbo Bucks instant scratch-off game, on Father's Day 2010, and he shared those winnings with his family.

He quickly shared his latest good news with his wife of 25 years, Janis Colbert. "I couldn't sleep, and my heart has been racing," said his wife. "It's still shocking."

Colbert, who echoed his wife's sentiments, said the money has already been spent mentally. The father of four -- daughters Shantricia, 30, and Tiyuna, 27, and sons, Donald, Jr., 22, and Breon, 21 -- plans to take his family on a cruise sometime in August.

He also plans to invest the million-dollar prize into his and his sons' businesses. He said he has owned Diamond Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC, in Lithonia, for the past 22 years, while his sons began to expand the business by incorporating their own, Diamond Heating and Air Duct Cleaning, in Lithonia.

"I feel pretty lucky," said the long-time heating and air conditioning contractor.

He added that he intends to continue playing scratch-off games, explaining: "I've got about a million reasons why I play."