The force was with this lucky winner
By Kate Northrop
Some people might use masks, others might wear dark sunglasses. While these sound like easy and viable go-to options for concealing one's identity, there's one winner who knows how to step up their anonymity game.
In a bid to hide his identity while collecting a $95 million (US$651,226) lottery jackpot for the July 5 Lotto draw, a Jamaican man suited up as Star Wars' Darth Vader, one of Sci-Fi's most iconic villains.
Only known as W. Brown, the winner's motivation for the dramatic, yet effective, attire was that he had not yet revealed his big win to anyone else. The anonymity also allowed him to claim the winnings while having the freedom to think through any major decisions regarding the prize money.
"I want to decide what is the best thing to do before spending anything," he said. "I need to decide what my goals are, but I know I want to own a bus." Brown also mentioned that he was interested in buying a house and investing some of the money.
Simone Clarke-Cooper, formerly the Assistant Vice President from Group Corporate Communications at Supreme Ventures Limited, said that the usage of creative disguises was a common way of dealing with a high crime rate in the country.
"Unfortunately, Jamaica is not like other markets," she explained. "In other markets, they don't necessarily [wear disguises], but here I think they opt to do it to keep themselves safe. We are not going to tell them not to do that because their safety is of paramount importance to us as well."
"People have been coming with their own disguises," Clarke-Cooper added. "They don't usually need our help, and they are usually very creative, perhaps beyond anything that we could think of or imagine, and it has been very effective over the years."
Brown bought the winning ticket earlier this month at Di Endz Sports Bar in May Pen, a city in southern Jamaica. He had originally considered the ticket a fluke since it was not purchased at the retailer where he routinely buys lottery tickets.
"I usually purchase my ticket in Old Harbour or Spanish Town, but I was on the road, so I just stopped there," he told officials at Supreme Ventures, the operator of the lottery in Jamaica.
Brown had apparently been playing the same numbers for 20 years, with a few adjustments here and there. He chooses his numbers based on "rakes," a Jamaican term for an omen, vision, or dream that foreshadows a future event.
Brown had always felt that he would win the lottery one day. That day had finally come when he discovered that his numbers matched while watching the live drawing on TV. Those lucky numbers are 8,9,10,19,27, 30 and bonus ball 17.
"Life has always been very rough. I come from a poor family," he said. "Sometimes I couldn't attend school because my parents didn't have [the means], but I told myself that God will help me one day so I can help my family."