Mistake During Ticket Purchase Leads To Big Win For Arturo Hernandez
DES MOINES, Iowa - A happy accident led to a $1 million lottery prize for a West Des Moines man.
Arturo Hernandez claimed the eighth and final top prize in the "Lifetime Riches" instant-scratch game on Thursday. He said he went to a local convenience store to buy lottery tickets and the clerk accidentally sold him a couple from a different game than the one he'd intended to play.
"I asked for a couple $20 scratch tickets," Hernandez said as he claimed his big prize at lottery headquarters in Des Moines. "She gave me the wrong ones. I didn't think much of it - I just went with it. I went home, scratched them and won!"
Hernandez, 23, has a simple explanation for why things turned out as they did.
"I just figure things happen for a reason," he said.
Hernandez's prize claim triggered the $20 Lifetime Riches game to be removed from sale. As part of its standard procedures, the lottery ends sales in its scratch games for a few different reasons, including when the last top prize has been claimed.
Hernandez's family owns a local business and he said his lottery win comes at a perfect time: Their restaurant, El Rey Burritos in West Des Moines, is currently moving to a new location, so his prize winnings can help cover some of the moving costs.
"I kind of know what I'm going to do with it: just pay things off and just sit on it," he said.
Players had the option of receiving the top prize in Lifetime Riches in annuitized payments over time or as a one-time, lump-sum payment. Winners who chose the annuity option would receive $40,000 per year for 25 years. Winner who chose the lump-sum payment received $650,000 before taxes. Hernandez chose the lump-sum option.
He said he never thought he'd win a big lottery prize and was still having trouble believing the good news.
"I always hoped for it, but I didn't expect it," he said.
Hernandez bought his winning ticket at Kum & Go, 1301 Eighth St. in West Des Moines.
|Top Prize:||$1 million|
|Chosen to receive as:||$650,000||lump-sum payment|
|Federal Withholding:||$162,500||(25 percent)|
|State Withholding:||$32,500||(5 percent)|
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