JAMAICA – Heading back to work
Jamaica’s Super Lotto winner declares intention after collecting $250m cheque
KINGSTON – Jamaica’s newest Super Lotto winner Tuesday picked up his cheque for $250 million (US$1.99m) and told the Jamaica Observer that he was going back to work before heading home.
Identifying himself simply as A Murray (not his real name), he was casually dressed in khaki pants, suede shoes and a polo shirt. He also wore a black wig, false beard and moustache to the Supreme Ventures Limited handing-over event at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.
He said he bought the make-up and actually put it on himself.
Murray told the audience, who watched the handing over of his cheque making him the country’s newest winner of the regional lottery game that winning the $250 million jackpot was actually not the best thing that has ever happened to him in his lifetime.
“This is great, but it’s not the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. My wife and children are,” he told the audience.
In fact, he did not even know that he had won the jackpot until three days after the draw, when a friend told him that the winning ticket came from the shop in Barbican where he bought his. Murray had left the ticket in his car overnight and only went in search of it when he heard that.
Murray told the Observer that he is from St Catherine, but now resides in the Corporate Area and works as an information technology consultant. However, he refused to say where he attended high school.
“That probably would narrow it down too much,” he said, in reference to his alma mater.
A graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI), he lives with his wife, who he says is also a consultant but in another field, and two young children. He says he has no plans to quit his work.
Murray kept the press waiting for half-an-hour past the 11:00 am scheduled start of the function, arriving in a sport utility vehicle, his wig held in place with a red- coloured handkerchief, and his “Indian” hair, moustache and beard needing adjustments now and then to stay in place.
He didn’t smile once during the first half of the ceremony, but the tension seemed to ease after he met with the press and realised he could keep his identity secured, after all.
He obviously didn’t think much about the euphoria surrounding Usain Bolt’s “three-peat” at the Rio Olympics last week-end, insisting that he much prefers football, and admitting that he really enjoyed his favourite English Premier League club Liverpool’s thrashing of its old rival Arsenal at the start of the new season last weekend. However, he said that his wife was overwhelmed by the achievement.
“There was so much noise in the house,” he said.
He also confirmed that he had bought two tickets — a “quick print” or computer-generated ticket, and a manual ticket made of numbers from his family’s birthdays. It was the “quick print” or automated ticket that actually did the trick for him.
“It’s just a game and it is random. It is one in how many million tickets that win. But, if you don’t have a ticket you don’t have a chance,” he explained.
He doesn’t play the cheaper games, like Cash Pot and the Pick series.
“No, I usually just go for the top, in terms of the outcome,” he said.
“I buy a (lottery) ticket whenever I can. It depends on whether I am on my regular route and the possibility exists that I can stop and buy,” he said.
“I just thought winning would be great for me, since I have a family, as a kind of a boost in terms of what you want to achieve for them and safeguarding my family’s future,” he added.
He said, however, that he doesn’t have starting an IT company with his new wealth in mind.
“I do consultancy. That’s what any IT person eventually ends up doing,” he argued.
“The easier part is to get the money, the harder part is to keep it and grow it,” he stated.
Supreme Ventures Limited introduced the Super Lotto game on August 25, 2009. Super Lotto is a multi-jurisdictional jackpot game, the first game of its kind in the Caribbean and Latin America. It is sold simultaneously in Jamaica, Barbados, St Kitts & Nevis, Anguilla, Antigua and St Maarten.
Super Lotto is similar to Powerball, Euromillions or Megamillions, in which sales of different countries or jurisdictions are combined to facilitate jackpot prizes that have never been seen before in these territories.
The game has prize draws twice weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) and the starting Jackpot is the equivalent of US$1.5 million.