Tampa man putting $14.5 million lottery win toward education for others

- A Tampa man is a millionaire after he struck the Florida Lottery's $14.5 million dollar jackpot, and he plans to use his windfall to help less fortunate children in his home country.

Krishna Barri said he doesn’t play the lottery that often but sometimes he will buy a handful of tickets. 

For the drawing on December 1, he played 10 tickets at the Zephyrhills Publix Liquor Store and hit the jackpot.

“21-30-39-44-45-46. I won’t forget those numbers anymore,” said Barri.

Barri said those numbers didn’t mean anything when he chose them, but they do now.

“I started looking at the tickets, the first ticket, second ticket, third ticket. Oh my god, that’s it! It was an amazing feeling,” said Barri. “I called my wife. I said, ‘We got the lottery!’ and she said, ‘Wow, are you kidding me?’ I said, ‘No. That’s true!’”

Now, he plans to pay it forward.

“I’m going to open a trust in India, and I’m going to provide an education for 100 people,” said Barri.

With financial support from his brother-in-law, Barri came to the U.S. from India nearly 20 years ago to study at USF.

“I came here to do my masters. I struggled. I did the part-time jobs. I worked for a bookstore,” said Barri. “I worked at the Sun Dome, standing in the parking lot for 12 hours working for $6.25.”

He says he will return to India before the end of the year to help others in his brother-in-law’s name.

“He’s not here anymore to celebrate with me, but the trust is going to be in his name,” said Barri.

While Barri and his family have a lot more cushion to live with now, he told his IT business partner that he still planned to work.

“I said the dollar that I bought the ticket came from that job. I have to respect that,” said Barri.

As for what he plans to do for himself and his family, Barri said he plans to buy a new house and cars for himself and his wife, and he will put aside college money for his children. 

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