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Chicago janitor from Iraq receives $1 million lottery check ...

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Chicago janitor from Iraq receives $1 million lottery check on 10th anniversary of US invasion

Apr-12-2013 at 06:02 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Hakmat Yalda and his wife. Chicago, March 19, 2013.
Chicago janitor from Iraq receives $1 million lottery check on 10th anniversary of US invasion
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

CHICAGO, Illinois (WLS) — A Chicago janitor's life drastically changed on Tuesday.

Hakmat Yalda and his wife came to the U.S. to escape the war in Iraq- and received a lottery check of $1 million on the 10th anniversary of the US invasion.

Yalda and his wife rejoiced in Assyrian and English as they accepted the check.

"I can't stand on my legs. I can't stand on my legs. I'm so happy. I can barely feel my legs," Yalda said in Assyrian.

Yalda and his wife were in Baghdad with their two young sons at the time of the invasion.

Yalda and his wife rejoiced in Assyrian and English as they accepted the check.
They are Assyrian Christian and felt endangered in Iraq. Five years ago, they immigrated to Chicago.

Yalda, 43, became a janitor, cleaning building in the Loop.

"No matter what happens to your country, you leave it and you still have the same feeling for your country. No matter what's happening in your country," said Yalda in his native tongue.

"It brings tears to your eyes, actually. What was it like to have a three-year-old at the beginning of the war ten 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 bought the winning ticket for the March 6th drawing from the 7-Eleven on Bryn Mawr and Kimball in Chicago.

He says he walked up to the counter and learned he had won four dollars in the previous drawing. He decided to play Powerball again.

Yalda missed the drawing on TV, and was stunned when he showed his numbers to a store clerk.

"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. But Yalda is not planning to quit his janitor job.

Nor is he quitting the lottery. He has two quick picks for Wednesday's Powerball drawing. The jackpot is $260 million.

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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