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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, September 07, 1998

S.I. Retiree Hits Stock Car Drawing for 1 Million $$'s

Daily News Staff Writer

A Staten Island man raced off with $1 million at yesterday's Southern 500 in Darlington, S.C. — and he didn't have to drive a stock car to do it.

Jim Chorman hit the jackpot when race-car driver Jeff Gordon picked his name in a pre-event drawing sponsored by a tobacco company.

"This is a gift from God," said Chorman, 54, a former city employee.

Gordon also won a $1 million bonus yesterday for winning the Southern 500 race. It was Gordon's third consecutive Winston Cup victory.

Chorman, a Gordon fan, has been stock car racing since he was a teen-teenager.

He said he filled out about 300 entry blanks after learning of the contest.

"My wife gave me hell over it, getting up early in the morning," he said. "I'm devoted. It was in my heart."

Chorman and his wife, Kathy, said life has been tough since he retired from his city job about 20 years ago. Kathy Chorman has worked at several jobs to make ends meet.

"This is going to change our lives, I can't believe it," she said. "We're two people that didn't have much, if anything."

Jim Chorman said they'll buy a house and a car, "plus other things we haven't been able to have."

He said his father, Frank, who turned him on to racing and who died in November, was watching over him as Gordon picked the winning entry.

"I got to shake Jeff's hand, then the King's [Richard Petty]," Chorman said. "Then I looked up to the heavens for my Dad."


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