When it comes to playing the lottery, Sandalio “Leo” Garza of Shakopee has always said, “You can’t win if you don’t play.”
Putting his motto to work, Garza has been playing the Lottery’s multi-state jackpot games on a weekly basis, including the newest game, Lucky for Life™, since it made its debut in Minnesota in January.
On July 9, Garza’s Lucky for Life quick-pick ticket matched the first five numbers drawn to win the second prize of $25,000 a year for life. “I couldn’t believe it,” he recalled when he discovered his win on July 13. “I had to keep checking my ticket to make sure it was real.”
When Garza arrived at Minnesota Lottery headquarters on July 17 to claim his prize, deciding between the $25,000 a year for life annuity option (minimum 20 year payout) and the $390,000 cash option was an easy choice. “I’d rather have my money up front,” he explained. “You just don’t know what the future holds.”
The lump sum will allow Garza to fulfill his dream of becoming a homeowner. Garza says he plans to start the house hunting process immediately, saying, “I’m sick of renting—I’m just throwing away my money.” Garza also plans to use some of his winnings to fix up his truck so he can trade it in for a newer one.