James Ford has certainly thought about winning. “Whenever I see people win anything, I see them screaming and jumping around like idiots. I always wondered ‘what would I do?’” Now he knows, because James just won $1 million, the top prize in the Lottery’s new $1,000,000 Fortune Scratchers® game. “I scratched it off and I just about broke down,” said Ford about the moment he revealed his prize in the Ukiah bowling alley where he purchased his ticket. “I got teary eyed and choked up. I could hardly believe it.”
James’ wife is surprised by the win, but not her husband’s reaction. “He’s very emotional,” said Carolyn Ford, who admits the win is weighing heavily on her too. Sure they’ll be able to pay off some bills. That’s always a big deal. However, the couple believes they had a little guidance. “We feel that our son helped with this ticket,” Carolyn said. Their son suffered a massive stroke and died last December at the young age of 41.
James said he’s tried to accept his son’s passing. “We believe it was meant to be and it was his time.” That is the same belief they are drawing on in accepting this win. “If somebody had been in there five minutes before me, it would have been them,” James explained.
He bought his lucky $10 ticket at Yokayo Bowling Center, which is located at 1401 North State Street in Ukiah (Mendocino County). James popped in there while waiting to meet his wife for dinner after work. He said he now plans to retire, and this time for good. “I retired one time from the Postal Service and I’ve been working in a feed store. I’m a grunt out back. I load bags of feed, hay, straw,” James said. He’s thinking about using the time and money to finally clean up some land he inherited from his dad. He gets emotional thinking about that future prospect too. “It feels fantastic. I can’t express in words how great it feels.”