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Parolee Wins $31 Million Lottery

December 3, 1998

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) _ A parolee who has been in and out of prison since the 1970s won a record $31 million Georgia lottery jackpot.

Despite his new status as a multimillionaire, Kenny Dukes will have to keep on working. Staying gainfully employed is a condition of his parole, which runs until 2001.

And while some might think the jackpot would turn his life around, Dukes, 40, said that has already happened.

``Everything has changed since I’m not drinking and drugging anymore,″ said Dukes, who got out of prison in 1996.

Earlier this week, Dukes opted for a $10.65 million lump sum rather than annual payments in the Sept. 19 drawing. It was the largest Georgia Lotto jackpot ever.

Since the late 1970s, Dukes has served four terms in prison in Georgia and South Carolina. He was charged with a variety of crimes, including aggravated assault, theft, robbery, drunken driving, fraud, domestic violence, battery, trespassing and obstruction of a police officer.

Dukes decided to change his life three years ago after stealing from his mother. He said he became a regular churchgoer and patched things up with his parents.

After being released from prison to a Savannah halfway house in 1996, Dukes was hired by an architectural concrete company and worked his way up to plant superintendent. He quit his job after winning the jackpot but said he plans to go into the construction business with his brother.

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