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Covington couple wins cruise from lottery

Covington residents Acquenella and Donald Gates won a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean by playing the Georgia Lottery's Royal Caribbean Cruise for Cash. The couple have already returned from their vacation, during which they celebrated their anniversary.

Covington residents Acquenella and Donald Gates won a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean by playing the Georgia Lottery's Royal Caribbean Cruise for Cash. The couple have already returned from their vacation, during which they celebrated their anniversary.

COVINGTON -- Acquenella and Donald Gates of Covington recently celebrated their seventh anniversary with a weeklong Caribbean cruise courtesy of the Georgia Lottery.

Acquenella Gates won the vacation playing the scratch-off game Royal Caribbean Cruise for Cash, a game launched by the Lottery last spring in which players have a chance of winning cash or a cruise.

Gates bought her ticket at the BP Food Mart at 6229 Turner Lake Road S.W. in Covington. The mother of two was supposed to be running an errand, but her original goal slipped her mind and she wound up stopping at the gas station where she purchased the winning ticket.

She scratched it while at home.

"About three more scratches and there was the ship sitting in the corner," she said. "(Donald) got two pairs of glasses and two magnifying glasses, including one with a light."

Acquenella, 56, is a cook and Donald, 55, is a network administrator. The couple celebrated their anniversary June 26.

The game odds of winning the cruise vacation are one in 120,000, according to the Georgia Lottery.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $12.5 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia's Pre-K Program. More than 1.3 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.1 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.