Filipino Wins $1 Million in Powerball Lottery

An elderly Filipino based in the United States has won $1 million in the Powerball on Jan. 13.

As ticket holders eagerly await the winning numbers of the record-setting prize of $1.5 billion, Teofilo Mesina, 82, only learned he won once checked the winning combination online.

Mesina, who is based in Virginia Beach, Va. correctly picked five numbers — 04, 08, 19, 27 and 34 — and missed only the Powerball number.

“Not many people win that kind of money,” Mesina told The Virginian-Pilot on Jan. 19, as he claimed his prize. He bought his ticket from a 7-Eleven at Lynnhaven Parkway and Salem Road in Virginia Beach.

He confessed to playing his own set of numbers but also doesn’t mind picking computer generated ones. He said the winning number combinations were significant dates; for example, a friend was born in April so he chose number 4, for the fourth month of the year.

“I was shocked; I couldn’t believe it,” his wife Irene Mesina said, when Teofilo asked him to check the combination after thought he just misread them.

Aside from Mesina, there are 71 other $1 million winners. Three winning tickets in Florida, California and Tennessee will share the largest prizes in the $1.5 billion jackpot. The initial Powerball prize of $40 million began on Nov. 7.

Asked what he plans to do with the prize, Mesina, who is retired from working in a sign shop, said he has no other plans yet besides paying off his mortgage.

Photo credit: The Virginian Pilot