Hillsborough County Lottery Winner Claims $1 Million Prize on a Scratch-Off Ticket

Toby Hazlewood

Florida's latest big lottery winner goes public

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It emerged on June 16 that a 36-year-old man from Tampa has just claimed the Florida State Lottery's most recent $1 million prize - on a scratch-off ticket.

Felipe Romaniz Carbajal won the prize on a '500X The Cash' ticket that he had purchased at a Tampa supermarket. He opted to receive his winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $820,000.

Florida has seen a lot of big wins this year

His win is the latest in a series of big lottery wins claimed in the course of 2022. In May, Daniel Alvarez - a man from Miami - claimed a $1.95 million prize in the Florida State Lottery 'Triple Play' draw. He beat the odds of winning the jackpot prize - a staggering 1 in 3,122,273 and walked away with a lump sum of almost $1.5 million!

In March of this year, a Lakeland man won a $5 million jackpot prize in a scratch-off game. In the same month, another man from Miami - named as Hugo Juliao - won a prize of $1000 each day for life in the Cash4Life lottery draw. He also chose to take his prize as a one-off lump sum of $7 million rather than taking it in daily or monthly payments.

Would you go public if you won?

Like many recent lottery winners in Florida, Felipe Romaniz Carbajal opted to go public with his win. However, the state legislature passed a new bill in February (HB159) that gives winners the opportunity to opt out of publicity, so that their identity can be protected and they can avoid unwanted attention if they wish.

For many, winning the lottery might be a nice problem to have, but there are many well-reported side-effects of big wins that aren't appealing. A study reported in Time magazine suggests that 70% of winners end up bankrupt within a few years.

Winners have also reported other common and negative side-effects. Many winners end up losing friends and find themselves the target of extortion scams, begging letters and even threats of violence.

In the case of this win for Felipe Romaniz Carbajal of Tampa - perhaps the fact that the amount won is more modest but still potentially life-changing means that he can be left in peace to enjoy his win.

What would you do if you won the lottery? Would you keep it a secret or go public? How much would it take to change your life? Let me know in the comments section below.

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