CONSUMER

Utah man won $3 million Idaho lottery jackpot on his birthday, found out a month later

Aug 21, 2023, 3:42 PM

J. Refugio Gonzalez Almeida holds a ceremonial winning check on the Idaho Lottery's Instagram page....

J. Refugio Gonzalez Almeida holds a ceremonial winning check on the Idaho Lottery's Instagram page. (Idaho Lottery)

(Idaho Lottery)

(CNN) —The 4th of July is a big day in American history, and it was a big day for a Utah man who shares his birthday with the nation’s. This year, it marked the day he unknowingly became a millionaire.

J. Refugio Gonzalez Almeida bought a winning $3 million Mega Millions lottery ticket Independence Day weekend, but didn’t realize it until a month later.

Almeida traveled out of state to Malad, Idaho the week before the 4th of July, to purchase lottery tickets for the $400 million jackpot. He said he grabbed a lot of tickets. “I bought all the games, including Mega Millions,” he told Idaho Lottery officials.

And Almeida is no stranger to buying multiple tickets. “Playing the lottery is my hobby,” he said.

When he didn’t win the Friday jackpot, Almeida drove back to Malad on Saturday. “I thought, ‘I need a ticket for the 4th of July’,” he said. Almeida’s ticket matched the first five winning numbers – but not the Megaball, on the following Tuesday night of the Mega Millions drawing.

The ticket also had the number three as the Megaplier, which tripled Almeida’s $1 million winning to $3 million.

He traveled back to Malad a month after his unknown win on July 4th to check the status of all his tickets. “I had $2, $8, not a lot. And then they scanned this one and told me I had to take it to the Lottery Commission. So here I am,” Almeida said, holding the winning check.

He plans to invest the $3 million, Almeida told the lottery officials. “I am taking this right to the bank and depositing it.”

The Mega Millions jackpot went on to reach a game record of $1.58 billion, before someone won the full prize in Neptune Beach, Florida, earlier this month.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Consumer

About 576,000 Roku accounts were compromised in a cyberattack, the company said on April 12, the se...

John Towfighi, CNN

Roku says 576,000 accounts breached in cyberattack

About 576,000 Roku accounts were compromised in Roku's second cyberattack of the year.

1 day ago

New townhomes...

Eliza Pace

Utah ranked No. 5 worst state to find a starter home

In a recent study, Utah was ranked the fifth worst state to find a starter home. Here's why.

1 day ago

Dave Donegan showing Matt Gephardt the items that were broken in his move....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

How liable is a moving company if your stuff gets damaged?

Dave Donegan’s home was just about to go into renovation, so he hired a moving and storage company to hold onto his household goods while work was underway.

2 days ago

A hiring sign is displayed at a restaurant in Buffalo Grove, Ill., Wednesday, May 10, 2023. On Wedn...

Matt Ott, AP Business Writer

Fewer Americans file for jobless claims as labor market continues to shrug off higher interest rates

Fewer Americans applied for jobless benefits last week as the labor market continues to thrive despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool it.

2 days ago

Evermore Park (Photo: Derek Petersen, KSL TV)...

Mary Culbertson

Evermore Park to close permanently; new attraction to be announced

Evermore Park in Pleasant Grove announced it will close its doors for good. The owner of the park's property said he intends to unveil plans for a new attraction.

4 days ago

Lunchables have too much sodium Consumer Reports says....

Parija Kavilanz and Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Consumer Reports says Lunchables ‘should not be allowed on menu’ for schools

Consumer Reports warned on Tuesday that the school cafeteria versions of Lunchables is packed with too much sodium.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Utah man won $3 million Idaho lottery jackpot on his birthday, found out a month later