A lunch break on a hot afternoon in San Jose turned into a million dollar windfall for an auto shop worker after he realized his lottery ticket was a winner.
Duc Phan bought the $5 ticket at the Super Liquor and Food store on Sierra Road.
He said it was a hot day and his car had no air conditioning, so he pulled over and scratched off his ticket under a shady tree.
He realized he won on the first scratch.
“I scratched it and saw 'life' and that was it,” Phan told the Lottery.
The life logo tells the ticket holder they've won $2,500 a week for the next 25 years with the total winnings adding up to $3.25 million.
He said he went back to work at a San Jose body shop and told a co-worker who started spreading the word.
Phan said he put a stop to that as fast as he could.
"I said ‘be quiet! Don’t tell anybody (else),’” said Phan.
Phan stayed on the job for the rest of the day with his winning ticket in his pocket.
The 56-year old father of two said he never imagined himself as a rich man, adding he felt lucky just being alive.
Phan left Vietnam in 1979 in an overcrowded fishing boat with only the clothes on his back.
He says he will spend some of his money to return to Vietnam.
“There are a lot of poor people in my country. I would like to help (them),” Phan said.
He said he also plans to buy a house and a car with air conditioning. He also hopes to put his two children through college.