Danny Salazar is a bit “ditzy,” which he fully admits. This could explain his latest Lottery experience, but regardless of how scattered he might be, he is the Lottery’s newest millionaire after winning the $5 million top prize on the Lottery’s new $5 Million Jackpot Scratchers game.
You see, Salazar bought the winning Lottery ticket a couple of weeks ago, and when he got home, he scratched it with near disastrous consequences! “Since it didn’t win, I threw it in the trash,” he admitted. A few days later, he had a couple other non-winning tickets that he wanted to enter into the Lottery’s 2nd Chance Program, so he retrieved the ones he had thrown in the garbage. When he tried to enter the tickets on the website, it wouldn’t accept the $20 ticket. He couldn’t figure out why, so he took it to The Grove in Los Angeles and checked it at the bookstore near the farmer’s market where, unbelievably, the scanner told him it was a winner; and not just any winner, a $5 million winner! “That couldn’t be,” he thought. So the 44-year old literally ran back to his car and scratched off the entire surface and it was then that he realized he had the top prize-winning ticket in his hand.
He explains, “I was shaking, I almost lost the ticket, I actually threw it away, I threw away $5 million!” That’s true and this is how fate stepped in -- just imagine what could have happened…what if he didn’t feel like going through his own trash to find the ticket, what if it was trash collection day, what if there was no 2nd Chance Program? The mere thought of these situations makes him shudder, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I can’t believe I almost lost it.” But none of the “what-ifs” matter now that he has found his ticket and claimed his $5 million prize.
Salazar says he has been playing the Lottery since he turned 18 and he didn’t always know he would win, but he sure hoped he did. In fact, he recently visited the “Before I Die” project on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood and wrote, “Before I die, I want to ‘win the Lottery.’” He is so very grateful for this win, he says, “Going from someone struggling financially to having this happen is surreal, I am so thankful for this.” He knows this is probably a once in a lifetime win, so he wants to make this money last. He plans to buy a house or apartment and save the rest, invest it so it works for him.