A YEAR LATER FOR POWERBALL WINNER FELIPE PINA
A year down the line, Felipe is a lot more open and has even been on a TV programme documenting the stories of Powerball winners. He said he was invited on to Oprah but felt the audience was too big for him to cope with. He still has his business, although it is closed at the moment and has built a large structure where he plans to restore classic cars, although the building will first be used for his wedding in May 2008, to his fiancée Adeline Maes.
Felipe is in the process of using his Powerball lottery jackpot to set up trust funds for his children and grandchildren, “If they do it right, they’ll never have to hurt for anything.”
Felipe said winning the New Mexico Powerball lottery has brought a lot of joy but also a lot of irritation. He said he is tired of listening to people telling him what he should do with his money. “A lot of people try to tell me what to do with the money, but it’s my money see,” he said, “When I am ready, I’ll do what my heart tells me.”
Felipe also said the requests for money are never ending. He now sends them all to his lawyer. The Powerball winner from New Mexico is wondering whether he should write a book on the strange things people ask for. Felipe said that one beggar said he was suicidal, “He wanted $7,000 and said his death would be on my conscience if I didn’t give him the money.” He said that the largest amount that has been asked for is $600,000 and most people want money to clear their debts. Felipe has no sympathy with these people and doesn’t believe people should get into debt in the first place – as he never has.
Felipe has also set up a scholarship for someone from a poor background. He said when he looks at the scholarships that are given at his local school, it seems to be the rich kids who are getting them. He wants his scholarship to go to someone who is prepared to work hard to improve their grades. He said he comes from a hardworking family. Felipe tells the story of his grandfather, “My grandfather, Cipriano Piña, was kidnapped in Mexico by the Apaches when he was 8 to 10 years old and brought to Española. He was sold to the Atencio family for three bags of flour. He worked for everything he had.” Felipe Piña’s grandfather would be proud.