It doesn't seem to matter that he's $2,500 poorer. Tom Drake believes as much as ever that fame and fortune are just a scrape away.
Drake's much publicized gamble on winning $1,000 a week for life in Pennsylvania lottery's Instant Bingo game began 10 days ago when he and his wife, has been showing up every morning at a neighborhood drug store 20 miles south of Pittsburgh to begin his daily ticket-scraping ritual.
Not that the news has been that encouraging. Although the Drakes have been going through an average of 250 tickets a day, their total instant winnings have amounted to about $750. And the biggest single prize has been $25. (In the Pennsylvania Lottery, one can "instantly" win as much as $10,000).
"I'm not really happy that we haven't won any big money yet, Drake admitted, "but we've been so busy with interviews and scraping that we haven't had time to figure out just how much we've won."
To determine a winner in the Bingo game participants must scrape a film off a ticket. Underneath are numbers, which must be matched with other numbers on a Bingo card illustration on the ticket.
To qualify for the $1,000-a-week-for-life drawing, a person must match on all four corners of the Bingo card.
The Drakes say they have already qualified for the drawing, but Tom, a 30-year-old former real estate salesman, insists that he's not sure just how many times.