Casey Derouen is living his dream. At 37 years old, he's a first-time business owner.
A master colorist from small town Louisiana, Derouen recently opened Salon 2 Dye 4 in the Montrose area with the help of a scratch-off ticket.
"Every time, I would hold on to my five dollar winning tickets and then cash them in; never cash them in for money, but just for another ticket. So one Saturday, I just ended up scratching off a lucky ticket and I won 100 thousand dollars."
Take a look at Game 3, lucky number 12, the match worth a hundred grand. After checking and rechecking the numbers on the ticket, reading and re-reading the instructions, Derouen made a life changing decision.
"I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it and that was open a salon."
No splurging, no squandering. In fact, Derouen didn't even quit his job as a senior colorist at another Houston salon. He cashed in the ticket, paid his taxes and a college loan, and kept working for the other salon. His after hours were spent in a small space off Westheimer Road refinishing the floors, painting, and transforming into a business owner.
"I felt that if I took the money and focused on my passion and opened the salon, then everything else would fall into place and I could have all those other things I wanted."
Now, six months in, Derouen says the salon is doing extremely well. He has employees. He has customers. In fact, most of them followed him here. It's a new life, thanks to a lottery ticket. And some ironic changes.
"Actually, I don't buy tickets anymore. I think that was it. It was meant to be and that was it."