A Southern California man recently won $2 million with a lottery ticket purchased in San Diego’s North County but, instead of racing to claim his prize, he went on vacation and really thought about what his luck would mean for his life.
The California Lottery office confirmed Roberto Garcia-Barrera bought the lucky Instant Prize Crossword Scratchers ticket at Major Market No. 2 in Fallbrook. The grocery store is located at 845 S. Main Street.
When Garcia-Barrera realized his lotto ticket was worth $2 million, he couldn’t believe it.
“I saw a two and a lot of zeroes. I started shaking. I was very nervous and excited,” Garcia-Barrera told California Lottery officials.
Garcia-Barrera didn’t claim his prize right away. In fact, the told lottery officials that he tucked the ticket into a safe place and immediately went on a vacation that he had schedule before his big win.
He needed a second to think about what had happened, and the vacation gave him the chance to do just that.
“It means a lot of happiness and joy (for my family and me)!” he told the lottery office.
After returning from his trip, Garcia-Barrera visited the California Lottery’s San Diego District Office to start the verification process. Now, he’s officially a lottery winner.
The California Lottery said, as always, the market that sold the winning ticket will collect a “retailer bonus” prize of its own: $10,000.
Lottery players often get lucky in San Diego. In March, two San Diegans won a combined $1.75 million, also playing Scratchers games. Those two lucky tickets were purchased in Chula Vista and Little Italy.
Last October, a ticket sold in San Diego for the jaw-dropping $1.6 billion Mega Millions drawing matched five of the six numbers, earning one player a cool $562,472. That time, the ticket was purchased in Del Cerro.