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Press release

January 18, 2014

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January, 2014 | Winners Stories | Southern California

Riverside County Man Wins $5 Million on Coffee Run!


Chris Smythe 440

Very Last Square on $5 Million Jackpot Scratchers® Ticket Yields a Fortune for Temecula Retiree

SACRAMENTO – It’s not unusual for some players, who all of a sudden find themselves worth an enormous amount of money, to take their time claiming their huge winnings. Many wish to get all of their financial affairs in order right away. Not Christopher Smythe of Temecula! He was in a rush to do something else. Approximately three hours after he discovered his $5 Million Jackpot Scratchers ticket hit the top prize, he was already at the Lottery District Office in San Bernardino to cash in his fortune.

“I’ve been playing and waiting for so long. I’ve been hoping of course that I’d win, but I’ve never won more than a thousand dollars. I guess the wait was worthwhile,” laughed the 66-year old retiree. He was taking no chances he might lose that $5 million ticket – a game he bought for considerably less ($20) during a coffee run!

There are 25 squares on the $5 Million Jackpot game for players to scratch as they attempt to uncover the top prize. Do you know Smythe scratched away the first 19 squares and won a big fat zero? It wasn’t until he got to final square #20 that, to the amazement of his eyes, he finally saw what he’d been dreaming to see – the numbers “$5,000,000” in big, bold fonts. “I immediately scanned it (the ticket at the retail location) to see if it was real, and then showed it to the girl who sold it to me. But she didn’t believe it!’’ recalled Smythe with another laugh.

Smythe said he tried to call his wife, but she didn’t pick up! So he made one more call before heading to the Lottery District Office. He called his adult son, who, according to Smythe, “He said ‘Spend it wisely.’ That was the first thing out of his mouth! Then he told me not to do stupid things with it. Well I am somewhat of a gambler,” added Smythe with yet another hearty chuckle.

The winning $5 Million Jackpot Scratchers ticket was sold on Wednesday, January 15 at the 7-Eleven located at 40210 Murrieta Hot Springs in Murrieta (Riverside County). That lucky retailer will be receiving a retailer bonus of $25,000 – just for selling the winning Scratchers ticket! Smythe says he hasn’t figured out all of the things he’d like to do with his $5 million. “There’s a million things passing through my mind,” said California’s latest millionaire. Probably five million things to be precise!

For information on how to $5 Million Jackpot Scratchers, click here:$20-Scratchers/%245-million-jackpot-1100.

The winning certainly doesn’t stop there – like all Lottery Scratchers games, the $5 Million Jackpot game comes with second chances to win the top prizes. Just subscribe to our 2nd Chance Program and submit any non-winning $5 Million Jackpot 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: January, 2014 | Winners Stories | Southern California