APACHE JUNCTION — A longtime member of a Pinal County Fraternal Order of Eagles chapter took home $50,000 (before taxes), winning the top prize in the Arizona Lottery’s “Fast Fortune” Fast Play game last month.
Steve Foutch bought the winning ticket through the Lost Dutchman Aerie No. 3850 electronic vending machine and could not believe it when he won.
“It was very exciting winning $50,000. Our organization does such great work in the community and winning this prize is wonderful," he said. "I’m working 60 hours a week these days and this will really help with my bills. I really appreciate all that the Lottery sales help our aerie to do for our charities and all that they do to help keep our aerie strong and active.”
“We love to see Arizonans win big with the Arizona Lottery, but it is especially heartwarming when that winning ticket is sold by a charitable organization,” said Gregg Edgar, Arizona Lottery executive director. “The Arizona Lottery is all about giving back and making dreams come true for our players. Our increased sales commissions to our charitable retailers go a long way toward helping these groups in their grassroots efforts to improve our communities, inspiring Arizonans to dream bigger while doing good for Arizona.”
Aerie No. 3850 Worthy President Dawna Russel said the excitement generated by this win is contagious.
“This win is the talk of the aerie. When we first began selling Arizona Lottery tickets we expected wins like this and we are thrilled," Russel said. "The added ticket sales that are coming in are helping us to boost our donations to the Phoenix Children’s heart hospital, pediatric cancer research and many other local charities, so this really means a lot.”
Russel noted that the impact on their community has really grown since becoming an Arizona Lottery charitable retailer.
“We can do so much more now than we could do before. We are so pleased with Arizona Lottery partnership because they are also in the business of giving back to Arizona," Russel said. "When we began selling Arizona Lottery products as a charitable organization two years ago, we were told this would be a benefit to us and to our mission and it really has been.”
The aerie has raised $5,000 through Arizona Lottery ticket sales that have directly benefited the charities they partner with. State President and previous aerie President Bill Kimball said he was skeptical when the vending machine was installed but it has since proved to be a real benefit to their charitable efforts.
“We have a lot of people playing and I am very happy about that because it helps us fund so many worthy charities,” Kimball said. “We help feed and clothe the homeless through the Genesis Project in Apache Junction, we give money to local food banks, we donate to DARE, we assist the Boys & Girls Club. We are proud to partner with the Arizona Lottery and believe other aeries would benefit from working with the lottery as well.”
Arizona Lottery charitable retailers earned more than $1.3 million in commissions in FY2020, helping to fund the public programs and services that they provide. Charitable organizations earn 20% commission on all pull tab tickets they sell and 6.5% on all other Arizona Lottery tickets they sell.
Many different charitable organizations sell Arizona Lottery tickets, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Elks, Moose and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. There are currently 150 organizations selling fun and patriotic-themed Arizona Lottery pull-tab games throughout the state, providing vital support for these programs, which assist other nonprofits serving some of Arizona’s most vulnerable populations, thus easing some of the demand that would otherwise fall on tax dollar-funded agencies.