The 24-year-old singer, who romped to victory in the contest last night, entered a similar competition in Kingston and won, which helped him feed himself during a time in need.
Speaking on today’s Lorraine, he said: “I needed to go to school and I needed to be able to take care of myself because I was a homeless kid and so entering that competition enabled me to be able to take care of myself, go to school, feed myself and do normal stuff.
“It was kind of a big help and I knew I wanted to be an artist and I knew I had to go to a big platform.”
Eight years ago aged 16, he took part in Digicel Rising Stars in Kingston, Jamaica.
He won and claimed the prize money of one million Jamaican dollars, equivalent to more than £6,000.
Last night the vocalist beat Anthony Russell and Scarlett Lee to claim a recording deal with Simon Cowell's Syco Music.
The tense live show, which saw the finalists go head to head at the SSE Arena in London's Wembley, featured performances from all three acts as well as celebrity guests.
"I just won the X Factor…", Dalton said in disbelief before thanking fans at home for voting for him.
Louis Tomlinson, his coach, spoke for him after the singer appeared to become overwhelmed.
The former One Direction star told the crowd: "He's been such a pleasure to work with, a true gentleman."
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