Elderly Texas couple winners of $177M Mega Millions jackpot in Arkansas

Texas couple winners of $177 million Arkansas lottery

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - It was a historic day for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery and an unforgettable moment for Eliberto and Anita Cantu from Lubbock, Texas. Remember that winning ticket we told you about purchased last month in Stuttgart? Well, the elderly couple from Texas was the buyer, not someone in the small town of Stuttgart.

It’s largest jackpot in the history of the lottery.

"The ticket for that was sold the day before April Fool's Day. We've been anticipating the winners for some time,” said Bishop Woosley, Lottery Director for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.

Cantu said he purchased the winning ticket at a Valero gas station in Stuttgart while on travel for work.

"Their construction job travels from town to town. Texas, Oklahoma, sometimes New Mexico, and Arkansas,” said the couple’s son, Rodrigo. However, winning didn’t come easy. "His coworkers didn't want to stop, but he convinced them to stop so he could get a lottery ticket and coffee."

Don't call it beginners luck, but steadfast and incredible faith. Cantu and his family have been playing the lottery for years. He found out he won big the day after he purchased the ticket with help from his son.

“Just like that, but they still don't believe it," Rodrigo said. "We all know it's a blessing, but they still don't believe it."

He said his father dropped his mother off to shop at a flea market and went to check on the numbers.

“He went back to a gas station and got a print out that tells you what the winning numbers are and realized he won. He called my mom and told her. She said, 'You're crazy, get in here. They've got movies for $1.25.' He said ,'We don't need movies,'” he described laughing at the situation.

The winning numbers were 17, 24, 27, 32 and 58 with the Mega Ball number 10 and the Megaplier of 3.

“We're putting them on flights and flying them all around doing things with us that they didn't get to do before,” Rodrigo said.

They left with a check of $72,901,264. The son said they hope to make the money last, but we're sure they'll have a good time spending some of it.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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