A 31-year-old man from Santa Ana who said he once worked in a small Mexican town for 15 pesos a day and a bed in the storeroom of a restaurant, won $100,000 Saturday on the California Lottery's Big Spin.
Eduardo Hernandez was one of two Orange County men who were happy winners on the Big Spin on Saturday. The other, James Smith of Mission Viejo, won $30,000. Hernandez is a housekeeping supervisor at the MainPlace/Santa Ana mall.
Although he had gone to the Big Spin in Sacramento alone, he told Big Spin television host Geoff Edwards that the entire work crew at the mall had television sets tuned to watch him.
Hernandez, who told lottery officials he enjoys baseball and watching movies, bought his lottery ticket at a 7-Eleven store in Santa Ana.
He is the lottery's 31st winner from Santa Ana, according to lottery spokesman John Schade.
Smith wore a colorful sweat shirt given to him by his co-workers that read: "Good Luck, Jim, from Your Dearest and Closest Pals at L.T. Lith." Smith is a printer and pressman.
Smith said he bought his lottery ticket at a Lucky food store in Laguna Hills.
Smith was accompanied by his wife, Diana, whose leg was in a cast. Smith told television host Edwards that she broke her leg when they were panning for gold--a hobby of the couple--on the Kern River.
When Edwards asked if they ever got much gold, Smith answered: "We're not too lucky."
But when the bouncing white ball on the Big Spin wheel showed they had won $30,000, Smith quipped: "That's enough for me."
Lottery spokesman Schade said Smith was the fourth Big Spin winner from Mission Viejo.
The program also announced that Suzanne Draeger of Huntington Beach had won a drawing to be on next week's Big Spin.
The total payoff for Saturday's Big Spin was $430,000 to six finalists.
Hernandez and one other contestant were the highest winners at $100,000.