Man Wins Record-Setting $20 Million from California Lottery After Splurging on $30 Ticket

“I’m sure it will hit me that I’m a millionaire [now that I’ve seen] all those zeroes!” said winner Chad Fry

A man from Auburn just won $20 million, the largest cash prize in California Lottery history for a Scratchers ticket.

Record-breaking winner Chad Fry was at the grocery store when he found out he’d won the massive prize, the California Lottery wrote in a release on Tuesday.

“I’m sure it will hit me that I’m a millionaire [now that I’ve seen] all those zeroes!” Fry said in a statement.

After going out to pick up new shorts earlier that day, Fry bought the Set for Life Millionaire Edition ticket at the Foothill Market on his way home. The $30 ticket is far more expensive than most, but Fry said he decided to splurge on the ticket since he’d just been paid.

“I had been waiting months for these people to pay me!” Fry said of his “side construction job.”

Knowing he had a “little extra money” to spare, Fry said that while he was at the counter, he just decided to go for it. “It grabbed my eye, so I said, ‘give me that thirty-dollar ticket,’ and that was it!” he recalled.

Before he went back home, Fry stopped to get some groceries — and while he was still in the parking lot, he decided he couldn’t wait any longer. “I scratched the first line, got halfway through the second [line] and saw [the word] ‘LIFE!'” Fry recalled.

Set for Life Millionaire Edition winners can choose between two options: annual payments of $800,000 before federal taxes for 25 years or a lump sum payment of $11.6 million before taxes, according to the state lottery.

For Fry, he chose the lump sum as he plans to buy a new F250 truck.

The top prize for the Set For Life Millionaire Edition ticket is twice as much as the top prize for any other Scratchers ticket currently on the market, the California Lottery noted.

Once the release became public, social media users disapproved of Fry’s decision to go public with his win, KTLA reported. But, unlike what most online users may think, winners can’t win in total anonymity.

“The California Lottery is subject to public disclosure laws that allow access to certain governmental records,” the California Lottery FAQ pageexplained, adding that the winner’s full name, the name and location of the retailer who sold the winning ticket, the date won and the amount of winnings are “matters of public record and are subject to disclosure.”

Everything else, including the story behind buying the ticket and on what they’ll spend it on, is up to the winner to reveal (or not).

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