A shocked Jamaican man who waited 54 days to claim his whopping lottery prize eventually turned up in disguise to keep his identity top-secret.
The winner, known only as “A Campbell”, won the Caribbean island nation’s Super Lotto in November, after paying just $AU2 for a ticket.
He ended up winning around $158,400,000 Jamaican dollars, or approximately $1.65 million Aussie dollars.
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But instead of being elated by the life-changing win, Mr Campbell instead felt “sick” with worry, taking a stunning 54 days to come forward.
He only did so after lottery officials urged the unknown winner to come forward before the strict 90-day deadline passed.
And when he did show up to claim his prize at the lottery offices in capital city Kingston earlier this month, he did so wearing an unlikely disguise — that of the “Ghostface” serial killer character from the ’90s horror franchise Scream.
— Supreme Ventures Ltd (@SVLGrp) February 5, 2019
He completed the look with a long jacket, gloves and pants as well as the iconic mask.
“I found out (I won) the same night (as buying the ticket),” he told the Jamaican Star newspaper.
“Normally, I would write down the numbers from the (televised) draw, eat and then go and check my numbers. I looked at my ticket (that night) and ran into my bathroom and said: ‘I won! I won!’
“I’m kinda OK, I’m just a bit numb, a little bit.”
Now that the in has sunk in, Mr Campbell told the publication he has big plans for the cash.
“I want to get a nice house. I haven’t found it yet, but I’ll be looking for one soon. I like to handle money. I don’t beg, I don’t borrow,” he told the Jamaican Star.
“So I’m looking at things that can turn over the money. I have a little business, so I plan to make it bigger, buy an apartment.
“I love to have money.”
He told fellow Caribbean publication, Loop, that he was physically ill for days on end as a result of stress caused by the lottery win.
“My head hurt me for three days because I was thinking so much,” he said.
“(Wondering) if what I’ve been longing for (had) really come true.
“I had a belly ache for two weeks, sometimes I feel so much pain I forgot that I had won.”
But while Mr Campbell’s disguise might seem extreme, it is apparently common practice for prizewinners in the notoriously crime-ridden nation.
Gail Abrahams, the vice-president of marketing communication and sponsorship at Supreme Ventures Limited, the company behind the Super Lotto, told the Jamaican Star many winners chose to don disguises to claim their prize.
“Should they require any form of costumes, we will definitely assist them in the process if they request it,” she said, because “they may be harassed, or whatever reasons that they may have security concerns, we do understand.”
— Supreme Ventures Ltd (@SVLGrp) June 5, 2018
No trick or treating here. Just our $35 Million Lotto Winner! pic.twitter.com/YD1z788xcR
— Supreme Ventures Ltd (@SVLGrp) November 1, 2018
Supreme Ventures runs its lottery in a number of Caribbean islands and was launched in 2009.
Last June, fellow Super Lotto winner N Gray collected her $AU1.88 million win wearing an winking emoji mask.
And last year, a judge in New Hampshire in the US made history after ruling a $US560 million Powerball jackpot winner could remain anonymous after a lengthy legal battle.
In many American states, lottery winners are forced by law to reveal their identities — or forfeit their winnings.
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