Million Dollar Raffle


One of nine $1 million prizes in a Million Dollar Raffle lottery draw organised by the Californian Lottery was won on Saturday 17 March by Robert Catena, a business owner from Orange County.

The Million Dollar Raffle was organised to give California Lottery players the best ever chance of winning a million. Four preliminary draws took place before the main event, and these resulted in forty raffle tickets each winning $10,000. With those lesser prizes taken care of, the main Grand Prize draw took place, creating nine brand new Californian millionaires in a matter of minutes.

Robert discovered his new millionaire status the morning after the draw when he was checking his seven-digit raffle ticket number in his Sunday newspaper. "I stared at the numbers for about 30 minutes, I couldn't believe it," Catena said about the moment when he realised he had won.

The shell-shock that Robert experienced isn't uncommon among lottery winners, but in his case it was compounded by the fact that this is only the second thing he has ever won in his entire life. "The only other thing I have ever won was a bowling ball!" he told officials after the event. "This sure beats a bowling ball!"

We'd have to agree. Bowling balls are hardly the most valuable of assets, and they don't have the potential to change your life like a million dollars can. So what is Robert planning to do with his money?

"Right now, I'm adding on to my house and will invest some of it back into my business," Robert said. "It takes a little financial pressure off."

The California State Lottery Act was voted in on 6 November, 1984 and guarantees that 50% of all California Lottery proceeds will be paid back to players in the form of prizes. 16% of money raised by the lottery covers administration costs. The remaining 34% of proceeds are used to help support public education in California through a number of programmes and initiatives. Since the California Lottery was launched in 1985, over $18 billion has been given to schools in the state.

Article Last Updated: 02/08/2007

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