A 41-year-old Los Angeles man became California's newest millionaire by winning a horseshoe-pitching contest at the Santa Anita Park race track. John Placzankis celebrated his windfall by offering to buy drinks for every person in the crowd that witnessed the event on Saturday.
In a trackside interview immediately following his windfall, the punter told the crowd of 15,660 "the drinks are on me."
Placzankis, who said he hadn't tossed a horeshoe in 30 years, beat out four others for the one-million dollar prize by pitching a perfect ringer in his only try. Placzankis was one of five horse racing fans who had their names drawn as finalists.
He said he tried to loosen up ahead of time by knocking back two beers. "I had a couple of beers, but they didn't have any effect."
Placzankis, who went from warehouse manager to millionaire in just a matter of minutes, said he plans to help his family out with the money.
"I am going to take care of my mom back home," said the former New Yorker. "I will pay some bills and take care of my nieces and nephews."
Asked what he was thinking as he prepared to make his opportune shot, he said, "I was just trying to relax. I'm pretty calm. I was just trying to throw it like a softball. I didn't want to go over the line (foul)."