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Victor “Jack” Scimeca (left), owner of Lake of the Woods Campground, Wautoma, Wis., Thursday (May 12) claimed the $4 million Megabucks Jackpot from the Wisconsin Lottery.
“It’s a good start to the season,” Scimeca said wryly during an interview with Woodall’s Campground Management/RV Business.
While Scimeca accepted a one-time cash settlement of just over $2.3 million, Lake of the Woods received an additional $80,000 for having sold the winning $5 ticket.
“That money is going to go to improve the campground,” said son Mark Scimeca. “We are going to take the campground and fix it up. With 80 grand we can do a lot of minor things that have needed to be done. We’ve already started an electrical upgrade, and that will probably happen a little more quickly now.”
Jack Scimeca and his wife, Sue, purchased the 300-site wooded campground on 240 acres on the Mecan River 40 miles west of Oshkosh in 1972. “It was pretty much a ma and pa operation and we’ve done a lot of improving since then,” Jack Scimeca said. “When we bought it, the sites weren’t even numbered.”
Over the years the family has added a large playground, softball field, basketball and tennis courts, shuffle board deck, heated swimming and wading pools and a miniature golf course. The park, featuring a 20-acre fishing lake, also offers daily canoe trips down the Mecan River.
Jack Scimeca, 52, said he typically buys two ‘quick pick’ lottery tickets a week.
He said the family was startled when lottery officials called to say the winning ticket had been purchased at Lake of the Woods, particularly since the park hadn’t fully opened for the season and consequently hadn’t sold many lottery tickets.
“Was I surprised when I saw I had the winning numbers? Hell yes,” Scimeca said.
At a press conference Thursday, Scimeca said that he’d use the money “to get out of debt and help the family.”
He said he and his family did some celebrating after they realized he held the winning ticket, and that he is “sleeping a lot better at night.”
Open weekends year around, Lake of the Woods was to open for the summer camping season the weekend of May 21.