A Selma farm-equipment driver has won $1 million – the biggest prize winnable on a $10 California Lottery Silver & Gold Scratchers ticket, lottery officials announced Wednesday.
Jesus Sanchez, 44, won the amount on Saturday and told lottery officials he was “a hard worker” and plans to keep working. But he would like to buy a house for his family and maybe own a business.
Sanchez said he never imagined being able to own a home. “No, no, no,” he said. “Because the money we make is not enough.”
When I saw the amount, I couldn’t believe it.
Jesus Sanchez, winner of $1 million lottery ticket
Lottery officials said Sanchez has been playing the lottery for years and had won $500 before. But the thrill of that win was nothing compared with the exact moment when he sat at his kitchen table last weekend and discovered a moneybag symbol on his ticket, they said. That was just the beginning. He then scratched the space beneath that symbol to reveal his prize.
“When I saw the amount, I couldn’t believe it,” Sanchez told the lottery officials.
Sanchez described a rush of emotion after he presented the winning ticket. “I was becoming more nervous,” Sanchez told officials. “I was seeing my dreams becoming more true.”
Sanchez bought his lucky ticket at La Estrella Market, which is at 2345 Whitson St. in Selma.
La Estrella owner Martha Mendoza said Wednesday that the store has had a $1,000 winner, but never any payout as large as Sanchez’s winnings. The retailer will receive a bonus of $5,000 from the lottery for selling the winning ticket.
Mendoza said she was home on Saturday when a cashier at the store called to tell her about Sanchez’s winning ticket. “I couldn’t believe it.”
She accompanied a nervous Sanchez to the lottery office in Fresno on Monday. “He seemed like he was scared and I try to help out my customers,” she said. Mendoza said she was nervous, too. “I thought my heart was going to leave my body, it was pounding so hard. I had so much excitement for them.”