When Paul Geston won $100,000 on a $5 California Lottery Scratchers game a few years ago, he admits he was understandably thrilled beyond words.
Despite winning six figures, the 71-year-old retiree from Fresno was far from finished trying his luck at what he calls his favorite hobby. “I play [the Lottery] all the time. When I win money, I put it right back in!” Geston explained.
That’s exactly what happened on January 2 when he scored a $1 million top prize on a $10 Million Dollar Multiplier Scratchers game! Geston walked into the Get ‘N’ Go store (5210 E. Tulare Avenue, Fresno) and used some previously won cash to splurge on $150 worth of assorted Scratchers tickets.
Looking back now, Geston admits he had a feeling on January 2 that it was going to be another one of his lucky days. That’s because the first three Lottery games he scratched, he won some nice sums of money. “I hit one ticket right off the bat for $500; and then I hit two $100 tickets (all three tickets consecutively!).
With a quick $700 in winnings to his name, Geston decided to buy a few more Lottery tickets right then and there. He scratched them all while he was inside the store and that’s when he ended up winning $1 million on the spot. “I didn’t have my inhaler on me so I sort of like started gasping for air! I had the clerk come around and take a look at it (to make sure the ticket was truly a winner). He (the clerk) said, ‘Let me have it and I’ll go make a copy of it,’ and I said, “No way Jose!’"
Instead, Geston said he took his lucky ticket “straight home” and signed the back of it – just like the Lottery encourages all winners to do. Not surprisingly, he didn’t get much sleep that night! “I’d been up since one o’clock in the morning waiting to get here (to claim his big win at the Lottery’s Central Valley District Office in Fresno).”
Can you imagine winning $1 million only several years after taking home a check for $100,000?
What a way to start 2017! “It sure is!” Geston confirmed. As for what he plans on doing with his latest winnings: “My plan right now is I’m going to get me a new pick-up and remodel my home.”
The Get ‘N’ Go store in Fresno where Geston purchased his $1 million-winning ticket wins as well. It’s going to receive a $5,000 retailer bonus just for selling the lucky Million Dollar Multiplier Scratchers. (The retailer bonus is paid from a separate fund and is not deducted from the winner’s prize money.)
Now that he’s won $100,000 and $1 million – are Getson’s Lottery playing days over? Not a chance. “Oh absolutely I’m going to keep at it! I’m doing my part for the schools!”