AUBURN (CBS13) — A Newcastle man is now a multi-millionaire thanks to a lucky Scratchers ticket.
Back in July, the California Lottery says Jerrold Murray, who goes by Jerry, bought a Set For Life Scratchers ticket at the Cigarettes For Less store in Auburn. He soon discovered it was a $6 million winning ticket.
“I scratched off three losers and then got the Set For Life ticket. I don’t get overly excited. I called my wife. I said, ‘Hey let’s keep this quiet,’” Murray said.
There were six million reasons for their family to stay quiet about this winning ticket.
“She was in an office with nine women and of course started screaming,” Murray said.
Murray decided to go for the lump sum option and will be walking home with $3.4 million, the California Lottery says. The California Lottery said that Murray will be taking home around $2.5 million after federal taxes.
The odds of scratching off a jackpot on the $10 Set For Life Scratchers game ticket 1 to 3,020,200. He told CBS13 that he wasn’t able to cash in his winning ticket right away. Murray said the district offices were closed due to the pandemic and held on to the ticket for three or four days after that.
He said that he put the ticket in a safe deposit box until he could find out how he could collect his winnings.
Murray said that when he went to the Lottery Headquarters in Sacramento, an employee in the parking lot told him about the dropbox center for ticket claims in Natomas. He dropped off the ticket and then he received his lump-sum check three weeks ago.
“A ginormous check coming in the mail felt odd to me,” Murray said. “It was relieving to know that I could retire in California, which had been a goal.”
The long-time scratch-off player never thought he’d hit this big in his life.
“After 30 plus years playing, I’m probably even, so the answer would have to be no,” Murray said.
For the owner and employees at Cigarettes For Less who sold him the winning ticket, it’s feeling you can’t put a dollar amount on.
“Especially what we are going through these days, I think that’s the best thing for the guy,” Rakesh Salhotra, owner of the store, said.
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“I’m always happy for somebody who gets good luck,” Darla Pruitt, Cigarettes For Less employee, said.
Besides investing the money, Murray said he’s bought him and his wife new cars and will also be getting a smoothie/margarita machine.
“My wife bought a Model X Tesla and she just figured out all how to make it play music and dance,” Murray said.
Other recent Scratchers winners include Stanislaus County resident Marilyn Burton who bought a $2 million winning ticket in Suisun City.