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West Des Moines Man Wins Final $1 Million Top Prize In 'Lifetime Riches' Scratch Game

Mistake During Ticket Purchase Leads To Big Win For Arturo Hernandez

Arturo Hernandez   Hear Arturo tell his story.

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.

Prize Details    
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)
Net Amount: $455,000  


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