As far back as Damaris Vazquez can remember, playing California Lottery Scratchers games with her father Jesus started out as a hobby, and eventually turned into a weekend bonding activity that they both love. “We’ve been playing for two years. On Sunday evenings after dinner, we walk to the [store] (Paul's Liquor & Deli, 2375 Sycamore Drive in Simi Valley), get some tickets and spend a little time together,” Damaris explained.
Imagine the shock when one of the boxes they scratched on their 50X the Money game revealed these numbers: “1,000,000”. That’s right! They took a walk after dinner and bought that ticket for $10 – incredibly, they returned home instant millionaires after winning the game’s top prize! “Disbelief…thought it was a fake ticket. But we felt happiness as well!” Damaris said, expressing the same feelings for her dad who only speaks Spanish.
Both will share the prize money 50-50 – and rightfully so! The father-daughter team took turns scratching that winning ticket. It’s how they always play! One of them scratches a row – then the other scratches the next row – and so-forth. Turns out dad (Jesus) ended up scratching the lucky row with the $1 million-winning box this time.
“I think he should definitely scratch first [going forward],” Damaris said with a chuckle. “He got the lucky number. We’re definitely a lucky team – a duo together. Like Yin and Yang.” The $1 million payday is significantly more than the $500 her dad won previously on a Scratchers game. “I think we’ll definitely be even more excited once we see those zeros in our [bank] account!”
Looking back, Damaris believes a higher power may have played a part in their big win – based on the fact the winning number on their 50X the Money Scratchers was 12. “My dad is a very religious man and he celebrates the Virgin Mary on December 12 (Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast). So, the stars were aligned for him!”
Now, “priority number one,” according to Damaris, is to purchase a house with their winnings. “We lost our house due to the economy. This will help us get back on our feet!” Paul's Liquor & Deli in Simi Valley is also a winner! This California Lottery retailer will be receiving a $5,000 bonus just for selling the winning ticket! (This bonus is paid from a separate fund and is NOT deducted from the winner’s prize.)