The Trentonian's Strange But True Page

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beats getting a blender

WAKE FOREST, N.C. - The lottery ticket Hugo Esparragoza wrapped in a box and gave to his wife turned out to be worth $1 million, lottery officials said.

Esparragoza netted the prize from Saturday's Powerball drawing. He matched five of the numbers and opted to "powerball" his prize, which allowed him to win five times the usual amount of $200,000. Esparragoza let the computer at Todd's Cash & Carry in Wake Forest pick the numbers.

After he realized the ticket was a winner, Esparragoza surprised his wife with the wrapped box and said "happy birthday," lottery officials said in a written statement Monday. The couple plan to invest the money and possibly take a vacation.

The Powerball jackpot increased to $245 million for Wednesday's drawing. It's the highest since the state lottery started offering the game last year.


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