That's not a lottery ticket Kevin McCarthy is holding, but one win helped him get started in business. PHOTO: USA Today
Few people know this, but Kevin Owen McCarthy, an American politician from Bakersfield, California, once won the lottery. And he used that money to kick start a very lucrative business career.
McCarthy's first big break came when he was a 19-year-old student at California State University, Bakersfield.
He bought a lottery ticket and won $5,000.
"I put the money in the stock market, made a little out of that," McCarthy told KQED in 2011.
"And then, at the end of the semester, I took my money out of the market. I refinanced my car, and I went and opened a deli."
Operating that deli turned him on to conservative ideas. Like many business owners, he got fed up with taxes and regulations.
McCarthy got into politics, first as an aide to his local congressman, Rep. Bill Thomas.
McCarthy eventually ran for office himself, winning a seat in California's state Legislature in 2002. He's now House Majority Leader.
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