A construction worker from Mesa claimed his $1 million second-place Mega Millions prize that was drawn on Christmas Eve 2013.
Audel Acevedo bought about $100 worth of tickets for friends and family members. It's a tradition he's been doing for the past three yeras.
"I buy a bunch of tickets to give out to family and friends," he said.
"About half of the people showed up, so we ended up with about half of the tickets (remaining)," he continued.
Acevedo talked exclusively with CBS 5's Greg Argos. Acevedo did not want to show his face since he said his sister lives in Mexico and he's worried about what could happen if the cartels learn about his win.
The $1 million ticket came from Fry's Food Store located at 20797 W. John Wayne Parkway in Maricopa. Acevedo was unable to check his tickets earlier because of the Christmas holiday and having family in town. After the holidays Acevedo remembered he had the tickets and had them checked at the same store where he purchased them.
When the tickets were checked Acevedo was told he had to go to the lottery office to claim his winning prize, but he had no idea how much money he had won.
"(The lottery official) comes back a few minutes later and she (says) 'Hey, this is what you've won.' She shows me a little piece of paper with a 1 and a bunch of zeroes. She said, 'You've won a million bucks.' I was like, 'Oh, my God. You're kidding me?'" he recalled.
He was so excited that he called his wife and children to have them join him at the office to share in the excitement.
"They're still kind of shocked. We still get up in the morning and (say) 'Wow. A million bucks?' We still can't believe it," he said.
Acevedo said that he plans on giving back to the community, investing in some property and will try to take his family to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
This is the second $1 million second place Mega Millions prize winner since the Arizona lottery redesigned the game in October 2013. The game had been redesigned to have faster growing jackpots, a $1 million second place prize and better overall odds of winning any prize. The Mega Millions lottery ticket costs $1 per ticket.
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