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.