Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A New York state man had a good reason for waiting over a month to cash in his massive lottery prize -- he didn't want to disappoint his employer.
Prep cook Luis Vela Figueroa, 53, of Brentwood, said he scored a top prize on the $2,500 A Week For Life scratch-off game -- earning him a minimum guaranteed payout of $2.5 million -- but he waited a month before collecting his prize because he didn't want to let down his employer.
Vela Figueroa said he didn't want to ask for any time off since he knew he would be quitting soon.
"I want to continue working just long enough to train my replacement," he said.
The cook said he actually purchased his winning ticket during a commute to work.
"I carpool to work. We sometimes stop for something to eat on the way. This particular morning, I got an orange juice and an egg sandwich," he said. "I always get a ticket when we stop and this is the one I always get only this time, things ended a little differently."
Vela Figueroa said he had only partially scratched the ticket he bought from the Bay Meat & Deli in Bay Shore when he asked the clerk to scan it to see if it was a winner.
"He told me it was a big winner and we all got back in the car and headed to work. Everyone was happy for me, but we had to get to work," Vela Figueroa said.
The big winner said he is considering using his jackpot to buy a house and possibly start his own business.