George Gist said he dreamed of striking it rich while napping as his wife, Susan, drove to Reno.
His dream became reality when he hit a $1.5 million jackpot early Friday at the Eldorado Hotel Casino.
The Oroville, Calif., man said he played about $70 in a Wheel of Fortune slot machine when the winning symbols lined up.
A buyer for a Santa Clara electronic firm, Gist said he commutes more than 200 miles a week.
"Now I'm not going to be away from home as much and I'm going to take Susan to Hawaii for her birthday," he said.
The Wheel of Fortune progressive slot machines are manufactured by Reno-based International Game Technology.
The jackpot will be paid in annual installments.