When Melissa Garcia headed out in the middle of the night to buy milk, she never thought her trip would lead to a million dollar instant win. While at the counter, Garcia decided on a whim to purchase three $2 California Lucky for Life scratch-offs, one of which led to a prize worth $1.3 million.
Garcia took her three scratch-offs and returned home; the first two were unsuccessful but on her third and final try she revealed the word â€˜LIFEâ€™ however, Garcia did not immediately realise the value of her win.
â€œI didnâ€™t really know how [the game] worked.â€ Garcia said; â€œI slept it off andâ€¦ when I woke up in the morning I showed my cousin and he goes, â€˜You won!â€™ I still wasnâ€™t 100 percent sure,â€ Garcia added.
40-year-old Garcia won $1,000 a week for the next 25 years is the equivalent of $1.3 million. However, after careful consideration, she opted for the alternative lump sum payment of $750,000. Although Garcia has no immediate plans for her money, she did say sheâ€™d share some of it with her cousin Evaristo who had recognised Garciaâ€™s scratch-off as a winning ticket.
Garcia purchased her lucky scratch off ticket at the 7-Eleven convenience store on 1200 Garfield Avenue in Alhambra of Los Angeles County. The owner of the store is set to receive a $6,500 retailer bonus for selling the winning ticket.
Melissa Garcia isnâ€™t the only Californian to win big with the California Lucky for Life scratch-offs range as Simon Thammavongsa recently won a $3.25 million prize on a $5 card.
â€œIt was right after payday. I was completely broke and I got paid and I wanted to buy a Scratcher. I was feeling it,â€ Thammavongsa said. Following that feeling, the 22-year-old Anaheim resident visited a local liquor store and bought just one scratch off; â€œI was telling myself, â€˜I hope I hit â€˜LIFEâ€™â€™ and the next thing you know the â€˜LIFEâ€™ symbol came up and I started going crazy.â€
Thammavongsa purchased his lucky scratch off from A & J Happy Liquor on 414 West Lincoln Avenue in Orange County. The retailer will receive a bonus of $16,250 for selling the winning ticket.
Like Garcia, Thammavongsa opted for a one off cash payment rather than 25 years of annuity payments and received a lump sum of $1.9 million. Had he chosen the annuity payments, Thammovongsa would have earned $2,500 a week for the next 25 years.
Thammavongsa revealed he would spend the money on improving his education and buying a house for his mom, after revealing that their lives had always been a struggle.
LotteryWorld would like to congratulate both Melissa Garcia and Simon Thammavongsa on their wins and wish them the best of luck for the future.by
Updated March 28th, 2014