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Calif. man who spent $60K on lottery tickets wins $6 million jackpot

Oct 13, 2020, 3:35 pm

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California LotteryCalifornia Lottery: Calif. man who spent $60K on lottery tickets wins $6 million jackpotRating:

Dedicated player finally gets a return on his investment after 30 years

By Kate Northrop

AUBURN, Calif. — A California resident's persistence has finally paid off, and it only took 30 years of commitment and dedication. The devoted player's tenacity landed him a $6 million jackpot after he had collectively spent around $60,000 on lottery tickets.

Like any fan of the lottery, Jerry Murray of Newcastle has always dreamed of winning a huge prize. After spending about $60,000 on lottery tickets in the past 30 years, he didn't have to dream about a big win any longer.

"I play lottery so every Tuesday and Wednesday night I can go to sleep dreaming of winning, you know?" Murray said.

He beat the 1 in 3.02 million odds to score a $6 million jackpot prize from a lucky $10 "Set For Life" scratch-off ticket he bought at the Cigarettes For Less smoke shop on Elm Avenue in Auburn. He immediately texted his wife a photo of the winning ticket and told her to be discrete about the news, but his wife couldn't contain her sheer excitement.

"Got home, scratched three losers, and then got the Set For Life ticket," Murray recounted. "I don't get overly excited, so I called my wife. I said, 'hey, let's keep this quiet.' She was in the office with nine women, and, of course, started screaming."

Her joy was warranted — they were both concerned about having to downsize from their cherished home to retire. Seeing as how Murray's investment paid off, they no longer have to worry about moving out of their much-loved home.

"In the last 20 plus years, we've turned our home into the place we would like to stay, so this just makes it a little easier," Murray said.

Spending $30-40 on lottery tickets each week for the last 30 years was quite the investment, but the payout was well worth it for Murray, who will invest some of the money for his children and grandchildren. He has already spent some of it on home improvements, and his wife bought herself a brand-new Tesla Model X car.

"This is the funnest part — being able to help people," Murray said. "I have four kids, a grandkid... that's the fun part."

The owner of the Cigarettes For Less tobacco store, Rocky Salhotra, was thrilled that one of his regular customers won big.

"Every customer who comes, they went, 'I'm so happy someone won it locally,'" Salhotra said. "Especially what we're going through these days, I think that's the best thing for the guy."

Salhotra will get a $30,000 commission for selling the winning lottery ticket.

Murray won the $6 million jackpot back in July, so initially he was unable to claim his prize since Lottery offices were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He put the lucky ticket in a safe deposit box for a few days to give himself time to learn more about the claims process in such circumstances.

"I eventually drove down to the headquarters in Sacramento," Murray explained in a press release. "There was a super nice lady in the parking lot who worked for the lottery. I ended up asking her, and she said I was able to go to the drop box at the Sacramento District office in Natomas."

Opting for the lump sum prize of $3.4 million, Murray ended up receiving a check for $2.5 million after federal taxes were withheld. (California does not withhold state taxes on lottery prizes.)

"A ginormous check coming to you in mail felt odd to me," Murray admitted. "It was relieving to know I could retire in California.

It's safe to say that the dedicated player won't stop playing the lottery anytime soon — after he won the jackpot, he was already back to buying some more scratch-offs. For Jerry, it's his preferred form of entertainment.

"After 30 plus years playing, I'm probably even," Murray joked.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

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15 comments. Last comment 9 days ago by Bleudog101.
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s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
Hard Luck, Ak
United States
Member #23471
October 13, 2005
356 Posts
Offline

Better late than never but never LATE is better! Congrats on the win!

"We make a living by what you get, You make a LIFE by what you give!"

                                                               Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    25
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #17842
    June 28, 2005
    132261 Posts
    Online

    Party Congrats to the Winning Couple! Party

    Played every week for 30 Years: Expecting to Win each time! Thumbs Up

    A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

    Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

      Kinraht5's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
      Soon to be Millionaire
      Earth
      India
      Member #195159
      January 13, 2019
      76 Posts
      Online

      Jolly!! I spent almost the same... so far

        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
        Member #163184
        January 22, 2015
        2286 Posts
        Offline

        Look @ that smile and can't blame him one bit.   Gives up hope that we may too smile for the camera.

         

        Congratulations on your big win!

          Avatar
          Florida
          United States
          Member #171215
          January 3, 2016
          174 Posts
          Offline

          First off, congrats to the winner. 30 years of diligence finally pays off!

           

          "He has already spent some of it on home improvements, and his wife bought herself a brand-new Tesla Model X car."

           

          data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAI=

           

          data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAI=

            MzDuffleBaglady's avatar - Bitmoji 20with%20dreads%20lol.jpg
            50
            Statistical player!
            United States
            Member #81312
            October 16, 2009
            31325 Posts
            Online

            PartyLife changing!

            Enjoy!

            Stay healthy, be safe, take care of yourself and others!  "Mask On" !Type

              diggindeeep's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg
              NW Ohio
              United States
              Member #128242
              May 20, 2012
              5107 Posts
              Offline

              Party

                Avatar
                homestead
                United States
                Member #158177
                August 14, 2014
                437 Posts
                Offline

                He should have taken the annual installment plan.

                  Avatar
                  Simpsonville
                  United States
                  Member #163184
                  January 22, 2015
                  2286 Posts
                  Offline

                  He should have taken the annual installment plan.

                  To each their own but I disagree.   For one, it isn't 'that much money' per se, though I'd love to have it.   #2 Why have an annual tax liability for 20-30 years?

                    Avatar
                    Chasing $ Millions.
                    White Shores- California
                    United States
                    Member #136473
                    December 12, 2012
                    6337 Posts
                    Offline

                    After waiting this long, Jerry grabbed the brass ring. He's endeavor paid off, and good for him.

                     * Voice of Reason *   

                     

                    People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                      Nikkicute's avatar - wi lotto3.jpg
                      Wisconsin
                      United States
                      Member #123286
                      February 17, 2012
                      4149 Posts
                      Offline

                      "I was able to go to the drop box at the Sacramento District office in Natomas."

                      He used their drop box!Thud

                       

                      "A ginormous check coming to you in mail felt odd to me," Murray admitted."

                      Thank goodness it made it to him.

                       

                      CONGRATS!Thumbs Up

                        HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                        United States
                        Member #72446
                        March 18, 2009
                        1311 Posts
                        Offline

                        "I was able to go to the drop box at the Sacramento District office in Natomas."

                        He used their drop box!Thud

                         

                        "A ginormous check coming to you in mail felt odd to me," Murray admitted."

                        Thank goodness it made it to him.

                         

                        CONGRATS!Thumbs Up

                        Well, at least the dropbox is on the lottery's security cameras.  Though I would want someone taking my own unbrokenup video of the lottery ticket (front and back signature), the claim form, me putting them in the envelope, and me dropping it in the Dropbox.

                        Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                        Disney

                          Avatar
                          homestead
                          United States
                          Member #158177
                          August 14, 2014
                          437 Posts
                          Offline

                          To each their own but I disagree.   For one, it isn't 'that much money' per se, though I'd love to have it.   #2 Why have an annual tax liability for 20-30 years?

                          The money could be invested in common blue chip stocks over a 20 year period. By the time the last check comes in that $3.5 Million(after taxes) would grow to over $50 Million. Most folks don't look at it that way.

                            cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

                            United States
                            Member #197033
                            March 28, 2019
                            548 Posts
                            Offline

                            The money could be invested in common blue chip stocks over a 20 year period. By the time the last check comes in that $3.5 Million(after taxes) would grow to over $50 Million. Most folks don't look at it that way.

                            You could invest the lump sum and, if you're good at choosing investments, make even more money. Financial advisers always advise lottery winners to take the lump sum. They can't all be wrong.

                            ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...