Gilbert Arenas wins the lottery after ‘blessed’ encounter with homeless man

Orlando's Gilbert Arenas, left, looks for a way around Atlanta's Jamal Crawford during a 2011 game.
Orlando’s Gilbert Arenas, left, looks for a way around Atlanta’s Jamal Crawford during a 2011 game.
(John Raoux / Associated Press)

Gilbert Arenas made millions playing in the NBA. But the onetime Van Nuys Grant High star feels he was truly blessed to win $300,000 in the California lottery on Tuesday.

That blessing, Arenas said, came from a homeless man he encountered that same day.

“This caption is not about good deed but about a struggling mans sacrifice and belief,” Arenas wrote Sunday in an Instagram post in which he shared the feel-good story.

Arenas apparently plays the lottery regularly, purchasing the same numbers from the same location each time. He was on his way to do so Tuesday when he realized he didn’t have enough gas to get there.


With little time to spare and only $10 in cash on him at the time, Arenas stopped at a gas station along the way. That’s where he was approached by the man, who asked him for spare change.

Arenas explained that he was on his way to buy lottery tickets and needed his cash for gas. After some discussion, though, he offered $5 to the man.

According to Arenas, the man told him, “u won’t make it on $5 so KEEP the $10 and after u WIN hook me up with $20!”


Arenas said he asked the man if he was sure. The man responded, “yes, I know ur gonna win.”

But when Arenas arrived at his destination, he found that the store had closed early. So he wasn’t able to buy lottery tickets that day after all.

Or so he thought. The next day, he received a text message informing him that he had won $300,000. The owner of the store played Arenas’ numbers for him when the three-time NBA All-Star didn’t make it before closing time.


True to his word, Arenas said he found the man from the gas station and “gave him his cut.” He didn’t reveal the amount, but it sounds like it was significantly more than what was agreed on.

“He jumped up and hugged me for 5 mins crying and then started to pray,” wrote Arenas, who also posted images of the text he received informing him of the lottery win and the winning ticket.

He added: “I’ve given back to the homeless BUT never was blessed by one. his good hearted gesture of me making it back home blessed that ticket.”