PHOTO COURTESY OF MASSACHUSETTS STATE LOTTERY
Josif Bigiku holds an enlarged version of his winning ticket.
By THOMAS GRILLO
PEABODY — Life just got a little easier for Josif Bigiku.
The Peabody resident is the first $1 million prize winner in the Massachusetts State Lottery’s new “Extra Plays” $5 instant ticket game.
It’s the state’s first instant ticket to feature extra chances to win on the back of the ticket. That’s where Bigiku uncovered a winning symbol and the amount of his prize.
Bigiku chose the cash option and received a one-time payment of $650,000, less taxes.
He told Lottery executives that he plans to use the winnings to pay off his oldest daughter’s student loans and pay for his youngest daughter to attend college.
Bigiku said he also plans to make charitable donations.
The winning ticket was purchased at the Sunoco station on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. The store will receive a $10,000 bonus for its sale.
There are a total of four $1 million prizes remaining in the “Extra Plays” instant ticket game, which went on sale in April, the Lottery said.
Bigiku could not be reached for comment.