"I'm tickled, I'm flabbergasted, I’m waiting for my heart to explode." This is what the latest lottery winner said, after winning $1.2 million.
Joseph Carillo, a 31-year-old Hemet resident, is the latest lottery winner who won $1.2 million off a Set for Life lottery scratcher ticket on Jan. 28. Carillo has opted to receive the lump sum payment which amounts to $696,000. If he had chosen the annuity option, he would have received $4,000 a month for 25 years.
Rolling in dough
Carillo, a single father, is over the moon with winning the lottery, and says that it’s given him the perfect opportunity to have a fresh start in life.
A Pizza Hut delivery man, Carrillo was apparently down to his last $100 from tips that he made over the previous three days, when he won the lotto on the scratcher.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” he said by phone.
According to Cartillo, he was in process of moving out of his current apartment as he could no longer afford to live there.
Constantly struggling, Carrillo kept on seeing a co-worker winning $100 on the lotto. He joked around with the co-worker just a few days before the win, saying that he was the won who really needed the money and asked for tips to win.
"My buddy was on a winning streak - winning $100 scratchers this past week. I was getting frustrated with the guy," Carrillo said, according to a California Lottery news release. "I'm moving. I need the money! So I asked him, 'How do you do it? Give me some luck!'"
His friend told him to just, “pull the trigger” and buy a lotto ticket.
Carrillo did exactly that, and went out and bought three $2 scratcher tickets. As with every game of chance, luck was not on his side, and he came up empty handed. But, he still had the third ticket to check, and BOOM, he scratched off the word ‘LIFE’ - winning him $4,000 a month for 25 years!
The manager of Paradise Express, where Carrillo purchased the lotto tickets, said Carrillo was a regular customer. After buying his first lot of scratches, Carrillo went outside to scratch them. Five minutes later he was back in the store to show him the winning lotto ticket.
“He was excited because he thought he won $4,000,” he said. “I looked at it and I said ‘Bro, you got a lot more than $4,000.’”
Murillo said he was happy “to see somebody get it that actually needed it.”
Carrillo has been divorced for some time now and a single dad. He’s been taking classes at to get a degree in audio and visual technology and humanities. He’s dream is to also get a bachelor’s degree in communications, so that he can achieve his goal of working in audio/video technology, as a sound engineer. Carrillo also expressed interest in working as a voice-over actor.
If that wasn’t enough, Carrillo also smiled and said that his ultimate wish would be to be in a “Star Wars” movie. As a huge fan of the series, he named his 6-year-old son Luke!
The windfall will give Carrillo the chance to pay off his debts and pursue his dreams, he said.
“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for many years and I never had the courage to do,” Carrillo said.
He’s not thinking of quitting his delivery job unless he finds a gig in the audio-video field.
“I don’t want to stop working,” Carrillo said. “I think that would be foolish.”
The liquor store will see a $6,000 retailer bonus for selling the winning ticket. Murillo said he hopes the store will get more business as a result.
“We’re kind of a lucky store right now,” he said.
"It was just on a whim. If I'd won $50 it would have been great," said Carillo, according to the news release. "I'm tickled, I'm flabbergasted, I'm waiting for my heart to explode, I'm waiting to go to sleep and never wake up again. I don't know!
“My buddy said there was a one in six million chance to win the grand prize.”
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