It was St. Patrick’s Day in 1999 when Floyd “Vic” Hooker; a Tioga County resident who lived in a small apartment above his favorite restaurant and pub struck it rich when he netted $45 million in the New York State Lottery. This prize, according to lottery officials at that time, was one of the biggest prizes awarded in state history.
Floyd was one of 11 children born to Albert and Myrtle “Stanton” Hooker. Floyd had 5 brothers and 5 sisters and was a lifelong resident of Tioga County, NY.
Upon his death in 2007 Floyd “Vic” Hooker designated his estate to his family members, and 30% of the estate was designated to assist the children in Tioga County, NY. Floyd helped many organizations prior to his death and that will continue through the Hooker Foundation. Floyd was a very private person and kept his giving to himself but many organizations received help from him prior to his death.
Floyd did not make major changes to his life after becoming one of Tioga Counties millionaires. He continued to live in his small apartment over the restaurant. He did start Hooker Motor Sports, a car-racing operation in Apalachin. In a 2001 interview, Hooker even seemed hesitant to buy a new car, although he certainly could afford it. Instead he settled on a 1999 Buick Park Avenue that had been a demonstration model. “It had a few miles on it, so I got a good price,” Hooker told a reporter.
Hooker’s practical attitude is a sharp contrast to many big lottery winners, who become wealthy but through poor decisions end up with their lives in ruins and their bank accounts empty.
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