Mega Millions Gift
Last Updated: Thursday 3rd April 2008, 09:33 am
A Mega Millions lottery ticket bought by a father to cheer up his son won a prize of $1 million. Lorenzo Mendez had entered a $50,000 singing competition in the hope of winning, but the Puerto Rico judges disqualified him because he had already recorded a mariachi standards CD. That was when his father decided to try and lift his spirits.
“My dad saw me feeling down and told me not to feel bad, that things happen for a reason and that everything would work out for me,” Lorenzo explained. “Then he said, ‘Let me buy you a Mega Millions ticket,’ and so I picked my numbers and that was that.”
Mr Mendez Sr. visited his local Texas Lottery retailer and bought a ticket for each of his seven children, his wife and one for himself, along with a ticket for his wife.
“The next day I was driving along when my dad called me,” Lorenzo said. “He told me to pull over and then said he thought my ticket had won a prize. Then I remembered that my dad really likes to play practical jokes on people, so I wasn’t quite sure what was going on.”
Lorenzo discovered that his Mega Millions ticket really had matched five of the numbers in the draw held the previous night. “Then we had to figure out how to tell my mother, because she gets really excited about things,” he continued. “We started out very carefully.”
The two men told Mrs Mendez that they thought they had won a prize worth $50,000, and said she was “flabbergasted”. Then they told her it was worth $250,000, which wound her up even more. Finally, they said it was actually a prize worth $1,000,000.
“She couldn’t say anything,” Lorenzo said. “I know she didn’t believe us, but we had the ticket and when we got on the Internet and she saw the numbers, it became real.”
Eventually Mrs Mendez accompanied her son to claim his prize at the Texas Lottery headquarters, and the whole family have been planning how to best spend the million dollar prize. “It was really exciting right after we learned our ticket had this prize, we kept thinking of one thing and another,” Lorenzo said. “But, after talking to an attorney and letting some time pass, we’ve settled down and we know what we’re going to do. We’re going to buy my parents a house, invest some of the money and use another part of it to help promote my singing career.”
“Looking after your parents is one of the best things you can do with a Lottery prize,” said Anthony J. Sadberry, Executive Director of the Texas Lottery Commission. “Mr Mendez clearly has his priorities straight. We wish him all the best in his musical career.”