Duc Phan was hot, and to make matters worse, he didn’t have air conditioning in his car. So the San Jose body shop worker found a shady tree to park under to check the $5 California Lucky for Life Scratchers® ticket that he’d just purchased. “I scratched it and saw “LIFE” and that was it!” said a still flabbergasted Phan. That was it is right! The very first box Phan scratched revealed the “LIFE” logo, indicating he’d won $2,500 a week for 25 years, or a staggering $3.25 million.
“I told one friend at work and they started telling everybody! So I said ‘be quiet! Don’t tell anybody (else),’” said Phan laughing. And get this – Phan didn’t even bother signing his winning ticket until he got home from work! $3 million-plus worth of paper just stuffed in his pocket while he refinished cars all day. What could possibly have gone wrong?!
Never in his wildest dreams did the 56-year old father of two ever think he would wind up being a millionaire. He felt lucky enough just being alive. In 1979, with only the clothes on his back, Phan escaped his war-torn country of Vietnam in a small and overcrowded fishing boat. “A lot of people died at sea,” he remembered. Now that he has a lot of money, Phan says he would like to return “home” for a visit, and try to make a difference for some of the less fortunate he still vividly remembers. “There are a lot of poor people in my country. I would like to help (them),” he explained.
Phan also has some rewarding plans for his winnings here in this country! “Buy a house and pay for college for my children,” he exclaimed. Let’s also hope he has some money left over to buy an air conditioner for that car of his! (Actually, we believe a new car is currently in the works!)