Vito Esparo of Orange Wins Top Prize Playing "$100,000 Cashword 3"
School Custodian “Cleans Up” With $100,000 Prize
March 04, 2011 --
By day, Vito Esparo of Orange is a hard working college student at Southern Connecticut State University on his way to getting his master’s degree in education. By night, Esparo is an elementary school custodian—an important job that helps to pay his way through college.
Esparo jokingly commented to his co-workers yesterday morning, that all he needed was the letter “Y” to complete the puzzle on the CT Lottery “$100,000 Cashword 3”
instant ticket to win the game’s top prize. As they gathered around him for support, they watched Esparo in disbelief as he located the necessary “Y” that formed the word “YET” on his ticket, and in that instant, won him an astounding $100,000.
“I’ve come close to winning before and later been disappointed when what I thought was a big winner was really a smaller prize,” said the 27-year old Esparo. It was only after Esparo had his ticket validated by a lottery retailer did he allow himself to believe he was truly a $100,000 winner. “I guess I’m buying lunch tomorrow,” Esparo laughingly commented to lottery officials.
$100,000 Cashword 3, a hugely popular crossword-puzzle style of game, is an “extended play” instant game. It takes more time to play than a standard ticket, and the prizes that can be won are built upon how many matches are made as the play is completed.
Esparo arrived later that day with his mother at CT Lottery headquarters in Rocky Hill where he happily accepted a check for $68,503 (prize value after taxes). “With this I’ll be able to pay off my student loans and any credit card bills,” Esparo said.
Esparo purchased his winning $100,000 Cashword 3 ticket at Stop & Shop, located on Elm Street in West Haven.pasting