California Man Scratches Off $20 Million Winner

Written By JR Duren on August 31, 2022
California man wins $20M from $30 scratcher

Scratch-offs are a quick way to enjoy the risk and reward of playing the lottery. For Auburn resident Chad Fry, scratch-offs were his ticket to $20 million.

Fry bought a Set for Life! Millionaire Edition scratcher in Auburn for $30, scratched it off in a grocery store parking lot and, within seconds, realized he’d just become set for life.

California Lottery tickets are sold at more than 20,o00 outlets across the state. The $20 million prize is the largest scratch-off prize in the history of the California Lottery.

Wages from a side job helped pay for ticket

Fry said that he bought the ticket because he’d just been paid for a side construction job he finished months ago.

“I had been waiting months for these people to pay me. So I had a little extra money. When I was at the counter, it grabbed my eye, so I said, ‘Give me that $30 ticket,’ and that was it!”

He wanted to scratch the ticket when he got home. However, he needed to make a quick stop at a grocery store, first. He couldn’t wait, so he scratched his ticket in the parking lot.

“I was like, hold on, let me scratch this thing really quick. I scratched the first line, got halfway through the second and saw ‘LIFE!‘”

How Set for Life Millionaire Edition works

Fry’s mention of “LIFE” is a reference to how the Set for Life! Millionaire Edition game works. The ticket contains a row of 10 winning numbers up top and seven rows of “Your Numbers” with five scratch-off dollar signs in each row.

If you match any of your numbers to the winning numbers, you win the prize listed. There are chances for 2x, 5x, 10x, 20x, and 50x multipliers.

However, if a player discovers the word “LIFE,” they get $800,000 a year for 25 years. And that’s exactly what happened to Fry.

The odds of him winning that massive prize? One in 3,021,785.

Fry had a choice between yearly payments or a lump sum of $11.6 million before taxes. He chose the lump sum and said he plans to buy a new Ford F250.

Three $20 million prizes remain

While the lottery framed Fry’s win as the biggest in its history for scratch tickets, its website indicates that there are six $20 million prizes. Three of those prizes have been won, and three are still up for grabs.

The prize distribution for this particular game is top-heavy. Twenty million dollars is the biggest prize available. After that, the next biggest prize is a relatively pedestrian $50,000. Twenty-one of those prizes remain. The next biggest prize is $10,000, and more than 65% of those prizes are still available.

For comparison, the California 200X $30 scratcher has four $10 million prizes and eight $750,000 prizes. The chances of hitting a prize of more than $50,000 are better than Set For Life!, though the top prize is only half of what Set for Life! offers.

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JR Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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