Daughter to Lotto-winning Dad: That’s not $28, it’s $2.8 million

EVERETT — Isagani Almacen thought he won $28.

The 43-year-old Lynnwood man checked the Lotto ticket he bought a few days earlier in an electronic scanner and squinted at the display. His contact lenses were a bit blurry from dust and a day’s worth of allergies.

His daughter Ida, 8, helped him out.

“No, Dad, that’s two eight zero zero zero zero zero.”

On Tuesday, Isagani Almacen grinned as he collected a check from Washington’s Lottery for $2.8 million.

“It still hasn’t sunk in,” he said.

On May 15, the father and daughter stopped by a neighborhood 7-Eleven. He used a $20 bill to buy a Coca-Cola Classic Slurpee for himself and a Fanta Wild Cherry for Ida.

With some of the change, he purchased two $1 lottery tickets, quick picks for both the Lotto and Powerball games.

He doesn’t play that often.

“Not even every week or every month,” he said.

Last Thursday, Almacen returned to the convenience store to check his tickets: The Powerball was worthless; the Lotto, well, was worth a lot.

At first he didn’t believe his daughter. He handed the ticket to the clerk to double check.

“‘This is your lucky day,’” Almacen remembers the store manager saying. “At that point everything was a blur to me.”

Almacen said he plans to keep his job as a postal sorter for the U.S. Post Office. His wife will continue working too, he said.

They plan to use the winnings — a bit more than $1 million after taxes — to pay for a college education for his three children, and the rest will go into savings.

“Retirement looks a little nicer and a little sooner,” he said.

The family of five also plans to invite relatives, numbering more than 30, to a celebration.

Ida was treated to a new $50 Mario Bros. game at Best Buy. And Almacen said he’s considering replacing his contacts.

“Maybe glasses,” he said. “Very nice glasses.”

Reporter Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437, jholtz@heraldnet.com.

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