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A Juicy Victory : Citrus Field Foreman From Mexico Wins $10 Million in Lottery

August 31, 1986| Special to The Times

SACRAMENTO — A 53-year-old orange orchard field foreman from Riverside hit a grand prize worth more than $10 million in the California Lottery "Big Spin" on Saturday, the second-largest prize since the lottery was launched last fall.

Irineo Carranza--who plans to buy a house for each of his eight children--will take home $403,400 annually, after taxes, for 20 years.

Carranza was the first Big Spin contestant to hit the progressive grand prize since Eve and Donner Spencer of Saratoga, Calif., won a record $15.22 million June 21. The grand prize begins at $3 million and grows $65,000 each time a person doesn't win.

Carranza, who speaks little English, said through his niece's husband, Robert Acosta of Santa Ana, that he plans to retire. Carranza said he feels fine but is "still kind of stunned," Acosta said.

Carranza has worked on and off as a field foreman during orange harvest seasons in Orange County. Although his home is in Riverside, Carranza also owns a house in Tecate, Mexico, where he lives part of the year. He first came to the United States in 1962.

One of 14 children, Carranza was born in the Mexican state of Michoacan. He remains a Mexican citizen, but is a legal U.S. resident.

Carranza accidentally shot himself in the eye when he was 9 years old and now has a plastic eye. Because of the impairment, Carranza could not see the wheel clearly and didn't know he had won the grand prize until his family surrounded him on the stage.

Carranza said through Acosta that he had stopped buying lottery tickets for awhile because he had only won $2 here and there. When he went to the New Market in Riverside to buy a six-pack of beer, he had $5 in his pocket. He bought the beer and the one winning entry ticket.

Also in Saturday's Big Spin, Terry Garrett--a 39-year-old cook from San Diego--won $1 million. He plans to visit his mother in Florida. Next week's grand prize starts at $3.39 million.

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