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Press release

March 27, 2014

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March, 2014 | Winners Stories | Southern California

Fate Leads 22-Year-Old to $3.25 Million Win in Orange


SACRAMENTO – If Simon Thammavongsa didn’t believe in fate before, he sure does now. A couple of weeks ago he was down on his luck and had to move in with a relative. But the 22-year-old believes the chain of events that followed led him to the biggest win of his now “Lucky Life” – a Scratchers® ticket worth $3.25 million.

“It was right after payday. I was completely broke and I got paid and I wanted to buy a Scratcher. I was feeling it,” the Anaheim resident said. He passed several stores on the way home before finally deciding to stop. It was at a store he’d never been to before, but it was close to the relative’s house where he was now staying at. Thammavongsa ended up buying a $5 California Lucky for Life Scratchers ticket. “I was telling myself, ‘I hope I hit “LIFE”’ and the next thing you know the ‘LIFE’ symbol came up and I started going crazy.”

Thammavongsa won the top prize, which is $2,500 a week for 25 years for a total of $3.25 million. He’s decided to take the lump sum payment of $1.9 million. Thammavongsa says this money is going to allow him to go back to school to study engineering or to become a Pharmacist. He’s also going to help his family and buy his mom a house. “We’ve always been struggling and now it’s just… a 180.”

While being down on your luck isn’t something to brag about, Thammavongsa says he truly believes moving in with his relative led him to that winning ticket. “I would’ve never gone to that liquor store.” That store, A & J Happy Liquor, is located at 414 W. Lincoln Avenue in Orange (Orange County). The retailer will receive a bonus of $16,250 for selling the winning ticket.

The California Lucky for Life Scratchers family is part of the Lottery’s continued effort to give out more prizes, create more winners and earn more money for education. For more information on the game and how to play, click here. Also, like all Lottery Scratchers games, the California Lucky for Life family of games comes with a second chance to win the top prize. Just subscribe to our 2nd Chance Program and submit any non-winning California Lucky for Life Scratchers ticket code for a chance to win.

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: March, 2014 | Winners Stories | Southern California