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Press release

June 25, 2014

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June, 2014 | Winners Stories | Southern California

Man Wins $750,000 After Unexpected Soda Stop in Anaheim


Donald Gates 400

SACRAMENTO – A trip to 7-Eleven isn’t supposed to change your life – but sometimes fate steps in. Donald Gates wasn’t planning on stopping at the Anaheim convenience store, but he was driving nearby and he was thirsty. Gates ended up stopping for a soda and decided to also buy a couple of Scratchers®. He didn’t win on the first one, but the second ticket – a $10 Bonus Crossword Scratchers – was a winner. A $750,000 winner to be exact!

At first, the 74-year-old retiree was unsure if his ticket was really a winner. “I didn’t have my glasses on, so I thought that I had made a mistake.” Gates said he started looking around for some help. “I didn’t believe it so I called over a young person and he said, ‘Mister, you just won $750,000.’” Gates said that’s when he became dizzy.

After gaining his composure, Gates took his ticket to another store – a store he was more familiar with. The workers were able to confirm the win and even helped him fill out all of the paperwork. Gates said despite that, the win wasn’t hitting him. “I was still in disbelief. That’s a lot of money.”

While it is a lot of money, Gates says it’s not going to change him. He plans to spend some of his winnings on his growing family – his fourth grandchild was born just a few months ago. Gates is also thinking about buying a new car so it’ll be easier for him to get around and visit the rest of his family.

Gates isn’t a stranger to winning. He told us he won $20,000 on a different crossword Scratchers ticket about five or six years ago. When we mentioned that he was lucky, Gates simply answered, “Yes I am.” But one thing he’s not is social media savvy. He said news of his current win was spreading quickly through his family because of, “that Facebook thing they got out. The kids right away put it on the Facebook.”

Gates purchased his winning ticket at the 7-Eleven located at 240 S. Magnolia Avenue in Anaheim (Orange County). Click here for information on how to play Bonus Crossword Scratchers.

The winning certainly doesn’t stop there – like all Lottery Scratchers games, the Bonus Crossword game comes with a second chance to win the top prize. Just subscribe to our 2nd Chance Program and submit any non-winning Bonus Crossword Scratchers ticket codes for another chance to win. The game is part of the Lottery’s continued effort to give out more prizes, create more winners and earn more money for California public schools.

The mission of the California Lottery is to provide supplemental funding to California schools while simultaneously supporting local communities. More than 95 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: June, 2014 | Winners Stories | Southern California