Miguel Alvarez of Hollister bought some California Lottery Scratchers a few months ago and didn’t win any money. He did win a free ticket, which was nice. But that’s not what he was after.
On his way home from work the following day, he stopped at the same store in Hollister (Big Saver at 203 Hawkins St.) and bought one $10 Mystery Crossword game. “I wanted to give it one more try,” Alvarez said in Spanish as his daughter, Myra Alvarez, translated.
His determination paid off. Alvarez matched all 10 words to win the game’s top prize of $750,000. “I went back inside the store to (scan it) because I couldn’t believe it,” Alvarez said in an interview with the California Lottery. “The owner of the store took a picture because she couldn’t believe it either!”
“He felt goosebumps and actually checked it multiple times because he just couldn’t believe it,” his daughter added. “He won $5,000 in 2013, so he’s been playing for a while. He’s a regular, but he was just seeing if it was true that he finally won the big amount!”
That he did: $750,000 before federal taxes. “It feels real now because I’m here (claiming my prize). Now I’ll just be waiting for the call to come pick up my check!” he said with a laugh.
As for what he plans on doing with his newfound fortune, Alvarez hopes to put a down payment on a small house to share with his wife of 26 years. “That’s a long time!” he added, referring to how long they’ve been married and dreaming of buying their own home.
“I don’t think this (win) will change me as a person,” Alvarez added. “I like to play for fun and to help pass the time.”
Miguel Alvarez agreed to share his story but declined any requests for media interviews or a photo. No additional information about him was released by the California Lottery.