‘I’m still in shock’: Friends turn $20 lottery scratch-off into $2 million grand prize

Two friends teamed up to win $2 million while playing the $20 Instant Prize Crossword scratcher...
Two friends teamed up to win $2 million while playing the $20 Instant Prize Crossword scratcher game.(California State Lottery)
Published: Jun. 4, 2022 at 9:48 AM HST
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SACRAMENTO, Calif (Gray News) - Two friends in California recently cashed in on their hobby of playing the lottery together.

Haim Torjman and Todd Dooher said they have been purchasing lottery tickets for over a year, and their determination has paid off.

California Lottery officials said they hit the $2 million top prize while playing the $20 Instant Prize Crossword scratchers game.

“I’m still in shock. I still have to pinch myself. It’s beyond our wildest imagination!” Dooher said.

The pair said they started playing the lottery as a team when Torjman noticed some scratch-offs in Dooher’s briefcase.

Prior to this $2 million win, Dooher said he believed the most they had ever won was $250. But they never cashed in their winnings, as all their prize money got reinvested into more scratch tickets.

“That’s exactly what we did this time,” Dooher said. “I turned in a $250 winning ticket and a $200 winning ticket and walked out with a stack of $450 worth of tickets. It almost felt like we played with house money.”

Dooher said he didn’t believe his eyes when he realized the two were going to be California Lottery’s newest millionaires.

“I must have checked that ticket several times!” he said.

Officials said the winning ticket was purchased at a Chevron gas station on Burbank Boulevard in Van Nuys, California. The convenience store received a $10,000 bonus for selling the ticket.

Dooher said he plans on putting some of the prize money toward his 401(k) and the two friends would talk about their future lottery plans.

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