A former locksmith from Elkton, Maryland, who won a $1 million US Powerball prize, is hoping his newfound wealth will be the key to a bright new future.
Rodriquez DaCosta, 52, lost his job earlier this year and his apartment followed shortly afterwards. Since then he has been living with friends. He now plans to pay off some bills, pay for a computer sciences course Delaware Technical and Community College, and set up a retirement fund so he can live off the interest.
Speaking with Maryland Lottery officials on Wednesday, July 16, DaCosta recalled the moment he realized his luck had taken a turn for the better.
"I heard there was a million dollar winner in Elkton," he said. "When I looked at the numbers I thought, those really look familiar."
Still unsure about the numbers, he pulled out his iPhone and checked his ticket against the numbers shown on the Maryland Lottery app.
"I was hoping I wasn’t dreaming," Da Costa said.
He wasn't dreaming, but the realization that so much money was heading his way set his mind racing with all possibilities.
"I had a hard time sleeping the first night," he said.
Maryland Lottery spokesperson Doug Lloyd said: "We’re excited for Mr. DaCosta. This is going to open some doors for him."
The US Powerball is a multi-state draw that offers a minimum jackpot of $40 million. Numbers are drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 22:59 (EST). The estimated US Powerball jackpot for Saturday, July 19, 2014, is $60 million.