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Lottery pick pays $125,000

May 17, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

A Charles Town, man said he'll be able to live a little easier now that he's won $125,000 in the West Virginia Lottery.

Angel Gonzalez, 67, reached by telephone Friday night, said he paid $25 for 25 Daily 4 tickets at a Sheetz store Tuesday after just having told his wife he expected to win soon.

"I told my wife the day before, 'The number's coming very soon, and it's coming in straight,' " meaning the numbers he picked were coming in exact order, he said. A straight bet earns the maximum payout: $5,000 for a $1 bet.

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"I've been playing for many, many, many years," Gonzalez said.

Assuming he'd lost, he returned to the store to play the same numbers he's been playing - 6-2-8-5, derived from his address when he lived in Puerto Rico.

Instead of having to play the numbers again, he realized he'd won.

What did he do?

"Jumped. Jumped right up," he said.

Gonzalez's chances of getting those numbers was about 10,000 to one, according to information provided by lottery officials. The total payout for all contestants Tuesday was $129,200.

Gonzalez said he thinks he's probably made up his losses from playing lotto with his earnings this week - about $83,000 after taxes - and then some.

A horse owner and trainer at Charles Town Races & Slots, Gonzalez said he has two horses of his own and plans to buy three more.

After winning the lottery, he secured a loan for a new house that will replace the apartment he shares with his wife, one of his daughters and her child.

Gonzalez said he's lived in West Virginia since about 1978 and raised his family there. Originally from Puerto Rico, he moved to New York then Massachusetts and Florida before settling in Charles Town.

He said he's content with his latest winnings.

"I can get my house, or a farm, whatever ... and raise my great grandchildren."

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