A father who lost his job in May and had been living with his wife and three children in a one-room cabin won $1million in the Oregon lottery on Tuesday.
Riley Gunn was driving his wife and young children to the cabin that his sister had lent them when he stopped to buy corndogs — a guilty pleasure they normally don't indulge.
Gunn also got some lottery tickets, even though money was tight and he knew his wife wouldn't approve.
He felt sure he would win — and he did. His $16 investment brought a $1million prize.
Lucky day: Riley Gunn, center, lost his job in May and had just signed up for courses at a community college to jumpstart his job search when he won the lottery
Later, when the 34-year-old Gunn learned of his good fortune, he woke his wife, Misti, to make sure he wasn't imagining it.
She jumped out of bed, saying, 'You'd better not be kidding me,' Riley Gunn said, standing in the Lil' Pantry Market & Deli, where he bought the winning ticket.
'I said, “Does that seem like something I would do?”'
Misti Gunn, 32, said she didn't laugh, cry or scream. All she could do was sit in a chair, staring into space.
The Gunns had to borrow money from a friend to make the 200-mile drive to Oregon Lottery headquarters to pick up their check.
Sitting in the parking lot, waiting for the office to open 'was the longest 10 minutes in our lives,' Mr Gunn said.
Happy tears: Mrs Gunn is thrilled now that the family will not have to struggle financially
Facing a better future: The couple, who have three young children (pictured) were living in a one-room cabin because they could no longer afford to live in Nevada
He had been a project manager for a telecommunications company in Reno, Nev., when he got laid off in May.
Mrs Gunn had been a customer service representative for a software contractor.
When it became too expensive to live in Reno, his sister offered to let them live in a one-room cabin with a woodstove for heat outside Wolf Creek.
Before buying the lottery tickets, the family had driven to Grants Pass to register for winter term classes at Rogue Community College to work toward their degrees — his in computer programming, hers in business management.
Big purchases: Their first big items were two new cars, and now a house in California
Wary: The Gunns deposited the $670,000 ¿ their winnings after taxes ¿ in a bank but fear for hangers-on
'I just kind of figured this was the kind of place you read about winning the lottery,' he said.
Sneaky: Mr Gunn initially didn't tell his wife he bought lottery tickets because he knew she would be mad
They deposited the $670,000 — their winnings after taxes — in a bank, then wrote a check for 10 per cent of that amount as their regular tithe payment to their church.
'You give back to God what he is giving to you,' Mr Gunn said.
Then they went to a car lot and bought a pair of brand new Jeeps — a Grand Cherokee for her, a Rubicon for him.
'It was overwhelming to go to a car lot and be able to pick a car, any car, that you wanted,' Mrs Gunn said.
They also bid on a house in Redding, California, where they lived before Reno.
Though they have been extremely thankful for the money- Mr Gunn wrote ‘God is so good to us’ in a recent Facebook post- they have also had to deal with the pitfalls of newfound wealth.
‘Now all the fake friends and people who never where there for us will come out of the woodwork,’ he also wrote.
Gunn said he plans to use the rest of the money to start his own business developing ideas he has long had for software and renewable energy.
'It's going to change my life,' Misti Gunn said, fighting back tears.
'Living off nothing is just very hard.'