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Patriots Hand Off Checks

The New England Patriots handed out Instant Ticket checks before Thursday night's preseason game. Read the reactions of the winners below.

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About an hour before the Patriots kick off their preseason home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, President Jonathan Kraft and Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy Cahill presented Plymouth-native Derrick Gorman and Scott A. Hoyt of Rindge, N.H. a check for one million dollars each for winning the Instant Ticket game.

Gorman, a factory plant manager due to be laid off soon, was in awe after scratching the grand-prize ticket. "I'm still in shock about this entire thing," he said. I haven't slept in three days and haven't felt this way in forever." Interestingly enough, he rarely plays the Lottery. He did so because he's a Patriots fan even though he'd never been to a game. "Affording tickets was never an option," he added. "I couldn't think of a better first time to come here." Don't expect Gorman to be taking vacations anytime soon. He said paying off car and home bills is a top priority. Although the prospect of moving out of New England was a real possibility, he's now staying put with his family.

Hoyt, an Air Force Reserve Master Sergeant who repairs jet engines at Westover Air Force base in Chicopee, took the other grand prize. "I couldn't believe my eyes," he said. "I thought it was a mistake at first and still hasn't kicked in." He added that coming to Foxborough was always a dream of his. The Westover base has numerous Patriots fans meaning he's in good company when he returns to work. He remained modest about winning the top prize and will continue his service at Westover.

Announced last week at Gillette Stadium, the New England Patriots and the Massachusetts State Lottery partnered to launch the $5 instant game. The Lottery is a presenting sponsor for the Patriots 50th Anniversary Season.

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