A 31-year-old pizza delivery man from Hemet, California found his life changed forever when he won over one million dollars in the California lottery.
Joseph Carrillo, a single dad who had roughly $100 left to his name, was preparing to move out of his apartment because he couldn’t pay the rent, NBC Los Angeles reported. He said of the day he bought the lottery ticket at the Paradise Express Liquor Store, “It was a sad day, it really was, it was by far one of the worst days,” according to ABC 7.
A California Lottery news release quoted Carrillo saying, “My buddy was on a winning streak — winning $100 scratchers this past week. I was getting frustrated with the guy. I’m moving. I need the money! So I asked him, ‘How do you do it? Give me some luck!'”
Carrillo bought three “Set for Life” scratchers at $2 apiece. When he scratched off the last ticket, things changed radically. Carrillo said, “One swipe and it says, ‘Life.’ I look over at my nephew, did that just happen?”
In disbelief, Carrillo rushed back to the store to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. The Paradise Express Liquor Store’s security camera taped what happened next as Carrillo ran past startled customers to ask store manager Efrain Murrillo if the dream was real. Murillo confirmed that the winnings were Carillo’s.
Carrillo said, “Ran in, that’s where you see the video of me running in and just cutting everyone else in line and yelling at Efrain, ‘is this real?’ Did this just happen?” Carrillo’s hands shook as he hugged everyone in the store.
Murrillo recalled, “His expression on his face was like, ‘whoa.’ He went from being excited to crying because he just realized he’d won $1.2 million.”
Carrillo decided to take the lump sum instead of a series of payments; he will receive $696,000 before taxes. He said he will continue to attend college and work as a delivery man, while carefully investing his winnings.
The news release quoted Carrillo remembering, “It was just on a whim. If I’d won $50 it would have been great. 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. It’s me!”