A man in the USA was not sure whether to laugh or cry after he became a millionaire but could have been a billionaire after changing the last Powerball number on a lottery ticket while waiting for lunch on his way to work.
Carlos Gutierrez from the city of Falls Church, Virginia state, USA, could have pocketed an astonishing USD 1.55 billion (GBP 1.28 billion) jackpot if he hadn’t changed the Powerball number from 14 to 19 last minute.
But the lucky owner of a small business still ended up scoring USD 1 million (GBP 827,430) instead after the ticket he bought at a local restaurant matched winning numbers 16, 34, 46, 55, and 67.
Carlos said he purchased the ticket while waiting for a cup of coffee and a chicken sandwich at Lee’s Sandwiches at 3037 Annandale Road on his way to work on Monday, 9th October.
The next day, when he stopped at the same location again, the employees were buzzing with excitement, saying that a ticket bought at the store had won big the previous night.
Gutierrez recalled in a statement obtained by Newsflash from Virginia Lottery, how he thought at the time: “Maybe it’s me.”
He was stunned when he checked his ticket and realised that it was in fact him who won.
Upon collecting the prize at lottery headquarters, Carlos said that he plans to use some of his winnings to expand his business.
Virginia Lottery officials said: “Powerball drawings are held at 10.59pm Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
“The odds of matching all six numbers to win the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million. The overall odds of winning any Powerball prize are 1 in 25.
“All Virginia Lottery profits go to K-12 education in Virginia.
“Mr. Gutierrez lives in Fairfax County, which received more than USD 48.5 million [GBP 40.1 million] in Lottery funds for K-12 education last fiscal year.
“In Fiscal Year 2023, the Lottery raised more than USD 867 million [GBP 717 million] for K-12 education, making up approximately 10 percent of Virginia’s total K-12 school budget.”