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Press release

October 22, 2012

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October, 2012 | Winners Stories | Northern California

San Joaquin County Man “Strikes It Rich” and Begins Anew


todd laRue 

SACRAMENTO – “There’s no comparison,” says Todd LaRue when you ask him how he feels right now, compared to how he felt this time last Monday. It’s because of what happened early Sunday morning. That’s when the San Joaquin County man uncovered his Strike It Rich! Scratchers® ticket and discovered that he had won the game’s top prize – $250,000!

LaRue laughs as he describes how he broke the news to his wife, who was still snoozing at the time. “I couldn’t believe it. I jumped on her on the bed and said, ‘You’ve got to get up. You’re not gonna believe this!’” LaRue admits he was so excited that he even put the ticket right up to her face.

It’s all good, because they believe that that lucky moment is going to do a lot to help change things, beginning with paying off the debts that have been looming over their heads. “I can pay this stuff off,” LaRue said he told his wife. “We’re starting from scratch. We’ve got a clean slate now.” The simple thought of that, LaRue said, is good … really good, since the couple hadn’t been able to save money despite his job as an electrician. “Every Monday I was coming back to work, to get a paycheck, to pay the bills again,” is how he explained it.   

LaRue purchased his Scratchers ticket at the brand new Tracy Arco ampm located at 550 West Valpico Road in Tracy. He can finally begin anew now that he’s claimed his ticket and has it safely out of his hands. “I didn’t get much sleep last night, but I still feel better than I felt most mornings,” he said.

The California Lottery’s Strike It Rich! Scratchers ticket is part of the Lottery’s continued effort to give out more prizes, create more winners and earn more money for education. The oversized gold and red ticket offers overall odds of winning of 1 in 4.73. Players can win a top prize of $250,000! This ticket offers 18 chances to win, and two win all features. Prizes start at $10 and go up to $250,000. Odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 1.2 million.

And remember, checking the daily draw results is easier than ever. All past and current Lottery draw results can be obtained for FREE by dialing 1-800-LOTTERY and selecting option 2, or via our website at

The mission of the California Lottery is to provide supplemental funding to California schools while simultaneously supporting local communities. More than 94 cents of every dollar spent by our players goes back to local communities in the form of contributions to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail compensation. The California Lottery urges its customers to play responsibly and within their budgets. If you feel you have a gambling problem, or know someone who does, you can get help at 1-800-GAMBLER.

See More Press Releases: October, 2012 | Winners Stories | Northern California