Retired NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas won $ 300,000 in the California lottery last week after meeting a homeless man who predicted the former Washington Wizards guard would win and later received an unspecified portion of the prize from his new friend.
Arenas, 38, explained his happiness on Instagram, explaining that the story is ‘not about good deeds, but about struggling man (sic) sacrifice and faith’.
On Tuesday, Arenas jumped in his car to make his weekly Mega Millions ticket purchase at his favorite store, which he said he prefers because it allows him to manually enter his usual numbers.
But with only eight minutes to closing, Arenas realized he didn’t have enough gas to get to that store and hit a Chevron station where he was greeted by the homeless person.
The man asked for a change, but Arenas explained that he only had $ 10 and needed to get gas to get to the store in Thousand Oaks, California, which was 16 minutes away.
On Instagram, Arenas admitted that he actually lied to the guy and actually only went to nearby Calabasas, but mentioned Thousand Oaks to emphasize his need for the entire $ 10.
Arenas then softened his stance and offered to use $ 5 for gas, leaving $ 5 for the homeless man.
However, the homeless suddenly refused the money from Arenas and said he would need it for the drive to Thousand Oaks.
“I said listen, I’m just using $ 5 dollars for gas and you can get the other $ 5,” Arenas wrote. “He then says (from here to Thousand Oaks and back) that you won’t make $ 5, so HOLD the $ 10 and after you win, join me $ 20!”
Arenas then made sure the man was okay with that arrangement, to which he said yes, adding, “I know you’re going to win.”
Unfortunately for both, Arenas didn’t get to his favorite store in time and couldn’t play his usual songs.
But in a remarkable turn, Arenas woke up the next morning with two text messages saying he had won the lottery.
“I’ve heard this type of scammer scammer, so I ignored the next one [because] I couldn’t play my songs, so I couldn’t have won a ***, ”Arenas wrote.
Although he hadn’t played his songs, the owner of his favorite store had, knowing Arenas plays the same numbers every week.
“Later that day, I went to the gas station to play powerball that was later in the evening and the owner is running out saying you WON I text you,” Arenas said, adding that the cashier told him she would close early so he went ahead and played for the former All-Star knowing he was okay with the $ 10 ticket.
On Monday, Arenas tracked down the homeless man at Chevron station and told him the good news.
“I stopped by my husband yesterday and gave him his cut,” Arenas wrote, explaining that he would not disclose the amount “for his safety.”
‘[He] jumped up and hugged me crying for 5 minutes and then started praying, “Arenas continued. “I’ve given back to the homeless, BUT I’ve never been blessed by it. [His] good-hearted (sic) gesture … blessed that card. ‘
Arenas did not explain why he continues to play the lottery after making over $ 160 million over his 11-year career, nor has he fully explained why he should buy a ticket from that particular store. Incidentally, Arenas also did not explain how the receptionist of his favorite store had his phone number so that he could text the former NBA star about his winnings.
Arenas, a second round from Arizona in 2001, shocked the basketball world by becoming one of the NBA’s elite guardians for much of the early 2000s. However, the triple All-Star is also known for its 50-game suspension and a $ 4 million fine it received in 2009 for brandishing a gun in the locker room.
Arenas has not played professionally since a period with Shanghai Sharks in China in 2012-2013.