hector2Hector Patino, 37, lost everything when he left his country of Colombia in 2008. He was granted asylum by the United States government after fleeing his home because of the ongoing conflict between the Colombian government and the guerilla fighters. The conflict had become more intense and dangerous in his city and he feared for his safety. Starting a new life in a new country and leaving everything behind was difficult for Hector but with few choices, he made the move to Chatanooga, Tennessee and found work in a carpet factory.

In October 2012, Patino discovered FreeLotto.com and registered for the F.A.S.T. service to have his lucky numbers automatically played every day. Eight short months later, Patino’s life again changed forever when he checked his results email and discovered that he had won $1,000,000.00.

“I won? I don’t believe it!” Hector said to himself when he opened the email. When talking with the prize team, Patino summed up his feelings about the win by saying, “I’m happy…$1 million is big money…will help family, help me, that’s something good.”

Patino plans to remain in Tennessee and hopes to buy a home in the Chattanooga area.