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Chicago janitor's life gets a little richer

March 20, 2013

CHICAGO — On the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a janitor who fled from that country became a millionaire, according to WLS-TV.

Five years ago, Hakmat Yalda and his wife left Iraq, immigrating to Chicago where Yalda took on a job as a janitor in a building in the Loop, the article stated.

According to the article, Yalda, his wife and two sons, who were Assyrian Christians living in Baghdad at the time of the invasion, felt endangered because of their religion.

"It brings tears to your eyes, actually. What was it like to have a three-year-old at the beginning of the war 10 years ago. And then to find yourself 10 years later and you've just won a million dollars," said Michael Jones, Illinois Lottery Superintendent.

Yalda missed the televised drawing, only learning of his win when he showed his ticket to a store clerk, the article noted.

"She tells me, 'You won.' I tell her, 'How much I won?' She tells me $1 million. I tell her, 'No you're joking for me.' She said, 'I swear to God, $1 million. You won,'" Yalda said.

The couple plans to buy a house with the winnings, but Yalda has no plan as of yet to quit his janitor job, the article added.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.