Earlier this month, 55-year-old Orlando resident Jose Calderon walked into a produce store and bought a Florida Lotto Quick Pick ticket.
The decision would change his life.
The Florida Lottery announced earlier this month that Calderon’s ticket won the contest’s $21.25 million jackpot, the biggest Florida Lotto win since March.
Winner drove to lottery HQ to claim his prize
The Florida Lottery’s rules for claiming a prize vary based on how much a player wins. Tickets with prizes of less than $600 can be redeemed at a lottery retailer. Prizes between $600 and $999,999 can be claimed at any of the 10 district or headquarters offices.
For prizes of $1 million or more, winners have to make the trek to the Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee to claim their prize. And that’s exactly what Calderon did, according to a lottery press release.
He drove to the state capital with his family, and one can only imagine the sense of excitement he felt during the roughly four-hour drive to the capital.
“My parents have worked hard their entire lives,” Calderon’s daughter said in a press release. “This win will allow them to slow down and really enjoy everything life has to offer.”
Calderon opted to receive his jackpot as a lump sum instead of an annuity. His payout was $16.47 million.
Quick Pick producing huge jackpots
Calderon’s win was the result of three months worth of rollovers. The Florida Lotto jackpot starts at $1 million. If a grand-prize winner isn’t purchased, the prize rolls over to the next drawing.
At the time of Calderon’s win, the jackpot had rolled over more than 30 times before surrendering to the Orlando man’s good fortune.
The last big jackpot winner came in late March, when one lucky player took home a $28 million prize. The recipient of that life-changing haul was a Panama resident who bought a ticket at a Shell station in Davie. The winner, 46-year-old Hans Moorjani Moorjani, chose a lump sum payment of $20.6 million.
How to play Florida Lotto
Florida Lotto tickets are $2 and can be purchased at any participating Florida Lottery retailer. Players can select six numbers on their own or choosing automatically generated numbers via the Quick Pick option Calderon chose.
Players can choose a pair of add-on $1 options, too: a second-chance drawing and an instant win contest.
The Florida Lotto drawing takes place every Wednesday and Saturday night at 11:15 Eastern. In August, the lottery will add a third drawing on Mondays.
Players can check the lottery website for winning numbers, watch a recording of the drawing on YouTube, or watch the drawing live.