DES MOINES, Iowa – Angelica Chavez carried the six numbers in her purse for years.
Those six numbers recently landed the Sioux City, Iowa, woman $1 million after she played Mega Millions for the first time, and won, Iowa Lottery announced Monday in a news release.
Chavez told Iowa Lottery that she chose her own numbers when playing, using digits she wrote down a few years ago while working at a senior-living center.
At the senior center she played a game with balls in a lottery style drawing machine, according to the release. She ended up writing down multiple sets of six numbers based off what she drew.
“And I said one day I was going to play them, and that day was on Friday,” Chavez, 27, said at a news conference Monday afternoon at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive.
Chavez checked her phone after getting off work at the Tyson Foods meat-processing plant in Sioux City on Friday. She matched five of the six numbers, missing the jackpot, but still landing a hefty check.
“I told my dad the night before, ‘I’m going to win something big,’” Chavez said.
His response: "Just go for it!"
Chavez said she plans to invest some of the money and put some aside for her daughter's future. She might even buy some property to rent out.
The Fleet Farm in Sioux City, where Chavez purchased the ticket, will receive a $1,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
Chavez is the third lottery player to win at least $1 million in Iowa this year.
Earlier this year, a truck driver from the Quad Cities named Danny Lovett claimed his $1 million Mega Millions winnings from a ticket he purchased in January.
A $2 million Powerball win was claimed in February by Lisa Hays, an eastern Illinois teacher, according to Iowa Lottery.
Lottery proceeds primarily support the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund, the state's General Fund and the Vision Iowa Program, the lottery said.
Follow Anna Spoerre on Twitter: @annaspoerre
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa Lottery winner carried winning numbers in purse for years