One California Lottery player has come forward to claim the nearly $4 million prize money after purchasing a winning Powerball ticket from an Arco ampm gas station in San Bernardino County.
Misael Cruz purchased the ticket in January when the Powerball jackpot was estimated to be more than $600 million. His ticket matched five out of the six numbers.
The frequent lottery player usually purchases Super Lotto Plus, Powerball and Mega Millions tickets when he visits the Fontana gas station.
“I kind of had a (lucky) feeling the day I bought my tickets,” Cruz said in a statement. “The clerk wished me good luck. When I was walking out the door, I said to myself, ‘What if I win?’”
Since Cruz purchases tickets so often, he usually doesn’t check them until weeks later, but a text message from his son prompted him to check his newly purchased Powerball ticket sooner rather than later.
Cruz’s son informed him that someone had won some of the Powerball prize money from the Fontana gas station he often visits.
“I looked online and then my heart started beating fast. I turned to my girlfriend, and she didn’t believe I had won because I didn’t show any emotion. I was in shock. I didn’t believe it. I had to check the numbers three times!” Cruz said in a statement.
The newly minted millionaire also has a theory behind why he won the multiple million-dollar prize money.
“I know exactly why I won,” Cruz said. “I help a lot of people, and I never expect anything in return. It’s what I teach my children. I know I was rewarded for helping.”
With his newfound riches, Cruz plans to continue to help those in need.
Californians who are feeling lucky can purchase a Powerball ticket ahead of the Saturday drawing for $2 at lottery retailers across the Golden State.