A Michigan man who won a $2,547 million lottery ticket last year after living off his savings for a year and living off the tips of his six-foot-long golden fingers has admitted he was not quite sure he had ever been happy.
Joshua Lee Johnson, 37, who was paid $500 a week for living off a tip of his fingers, said he had been on the brink of tears for years after the $8,000 prize was declared but that he had never experienced the same kind of joy as he had on Monday when he won the lottery at the Carlisle County Fairgrounds.
“It’s not something I expected to experience, but I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do it,” Johnson told ABC News.
“I think I’ve always felt like I was a loser, I don’t know how else to put it, so I didn.
But this was definitely a new experience for me.”
The lottery winner said he could not believe he was about to receive such a prize, especially after living in poverty in rural Michigan for the past four years.
“When you’re living off tips you’re going to get a little bit more money, but there’s always going to be some money that goes away, and some that goes up,” Johnson said.
“But the thing is, I’ve never felt like a loser.
I think I’m so happy for all of this money that’s gone to me, and for the good things that have happened to me in life.”
Johnson, who works at the Michigan unemployment office, was living on a small income from his job, which was paid with a state-issued check.
He said he was working full time and had never considered quitting the field of business administration.
“We have to make ends meet, so we make ends meets,” Johnson, a single dad who is unemployed, said.
Johnson, a father of three from St. Clair Shores, said the money he won will go toward his two kids, who are in school, and to cover the cost of rent and utilities.
“Every penny is going to go to my kids, so it’s just a little thing to make up for,” Johnson added.ABC News’ Kevin Johnson contributed to this report.