The millionaires' secrets
He is an assistant professor at a university in Bulgaria. She works in a Taiwanese factory that makes TFT and LCD televisions. They are surrounded on any given day by people who are happy to have a job, make their paychecks, and pay for their home loans.
This morning, he went to work at the university with a secret.
That secret? He is now a millionaire.
"Today I went to work, and I didn't know where I was," he said. "I still didn't tell anybody except my wife."
He's in his early 30s, and he likes his private life. Even his PokerStars avatar is blank. You wouldn't have known him yesterday, and you don't know much more about him today...except that he was one of the two people who won $1 million in this weekend's PokerStars Makes Millionaires Finals.
A few weeks back, the professor (known as citoject online) had stopped playing much poker. He wasn't very active on PokerStars and instead was focusing on the rest of his life. Then he saw an advertisement. If he deposited at least $10, he could get in on the All-In Shootouts. Next thing he knew, he was in a six-max SNG with a $1 million first prize. He spent his hours counting the days until the final tournament would start. Within a couple of hours after that, he'd won.
"I still cannot believe what actually happened," he said.
More than 8,600 km away, Juanyi Lin waited, too. She'd done her work in the TV factory. She had gotten together with her husband, and she had gotten excited as her online community rallied around her. A few days earlier, she had called the opportunity "unimaginable." By the time Sunday rolled around, it was real.
"Thank God," she said.
The money? She will pay toward her house loan. She will take a vacation with her family.
And the factory job? Well, that's her little secret.
She plans to be there for her next shift, and every shift after that. She won't be turning in her two-week's notice.
See, she, a 37-year-old seven-figure winner, is keeping her job at the factory.
Who knows? The next TV you buy could've been made by a millionaire.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging