Winners & Losers

This week's biggest Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Last week, five people in Pennsylvania came forward to collect a $516 million Mega Millions jackpot – the largest ever in state history. Now, another Pennsylvanian may be $5.4 million richer after purchasing a winning Match 6 Lotto ticket in Luzerne County. But these (literal) winners should bathe in their Scrooge McDuck-esque wealth while they can, because if they take the Pennsylvania Turnpike on a daily basis, a new toll increase from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission could threaten to dry up their pools full of cash starting next year. Turnpike drivers will see a 5% toll increase beginning next year, so unless these ticket-buyers want to see their newfound fortunes slowly wither away, they better find a new route. You know what they say: The state giveth and the state taketh away.

Scroll down for more of this week’s winners and losers!


John Fetterman -

Lt. Gov John Fetterman is likely tired about hearing about how large of a human being he is. But what he won’t tire of is the massive amount of cash his campaign is raising as he continues his U.S. Senate bid. After raising nearly $4 million last quarter, Fetterman’s campaign revealed that he raised another $2.5 million this quarter, putting him at a strong financial advantage compared to his Democratic primary counterparts.

Meg Snead -

The Department of Human Services came through big this week for many Pennsylvanians in need. DHS, led by acting secretary Meg Snead, reached an agreement with the Biden administration to continue issuing about $150 million in monthly emergency food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The SNAP emergency assistance was allowed during the COVID-19 declaration, but was set to end after the General Assembly voted to terminate the emergency. Thanks to some old fashioned dealmaking, families in need can continue getting additional assistance.

Matt Reed -

With large wildfires burning in several western states, a few Pennsylvania firefighters have decided to rise to the occasion. Matt Reed, forest program specialist at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is the point of contact for a crew of 20 firefighters consisting of both DCNR personnel and volunteers. The crew originally set out toward Idaho, but have been reassigned to Minnesota, according to Reed. They will spend two weeks out there before being replaced by another crew, as wildfire season continues to impact the western part of the country.


Joanne Van Saun -

Former Luzerne County Director of Children and Youth Services Joanne Van Saun was charged this week with endangering the welfare of children and obstruction in child abuse cases. Van Saun, who resigned upon being investigated by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, directed employees to falsely terminate reports of child abuse and neglect. The charges state that she told employees to eliminate the backlog of outstanding referrals in 2017 without doing any investigation into whether the reports required further action to protect the children. Because of that, Van Saun is gone.

Jim Kenney -

The 4th of July weekend brought some grim news in the City of Brotherly Love, with multiple lives lost due to shootings. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, grappling with shootings in his own state, declared gun violence a state of emergency this week, but so far, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has declined to do the same, citing “legal questions and practical questions that need to be answered,” per a Billy Penn report. But if lives continue to be taken due to gun violence, Kenney needs to do something.

Albert Hazzouri -

Albert Hazzouri, a Scranton dentist, is being charged with indecent assault and harassment after he allegedly groped a patient after an appointment in May. The court documents filed late last week say he grabbed a woman’s butt, breasts and groin when walking her to her car after a dental procedure. Hazzouri is known for being a golfing partner of former President Donald Trump, and had used his connections to lobby the administration on behalf of the American Dental Association. He’s not the first associate of Trump to be charged with a crime, and will likely not be the last.