california lottery

Tooth and Nail: San Diego Man Wins $1 Million on $10 Scratcher

A San Diego man who's been playing California Lottery games since 1985 finally cashed in

Getty Images

Turning $10 into $1 million? Now that's a head-scratcher.

The California Lottery is celebrating Guillermo Cuevas of San Diego for doing just that.

Cuevas won small on a $10 ticket, then used the winnings to buy a scratcher at Newport Liquor on Beyer Boulevard in Otay Mesa West. That small gamble turned into a life-changing fortune fitting for a man with decades' worth of attempts under his fingernails.

“I’ve played California Lottery games since the very beginning. I still remember purchasing $1 tickets in 1985,” Cuevas told the California Lottery. “The amazing part of this story is that I bought the winning ticket with the prize from another ticket I bought earlier that day.”

Cuevas walked away with $999,990 in profit before his meeting with Uncle Sam, and Newport Market got in on the action with a $5,000 bonus.

The California Lottery says the odds of winning $1 million on a "Winter Bucks" scratcher Cuevas played are 1 in more than 2 million.

We're not sure when Cuevas bought his ticket, but another San Diego lottery player won a nice chunk of change on Wednesday. They matched five numbers on the SuperLotto Plus drawing, but missed out on the Mega number. Coming closed earned them a cool $29,037.

There were no tickets sold with all six numbers and the estimated jackpot for Saturday's drawing will grow to $10 million, the California Lottery announced.

The odds of matching all five numbers and the Mega number is 1 in 41,416,353, according to the California Lottery.

Contact Us