A $1 million Powerball-winning ticket sold last year in Rosemead has expired without a winner, but a local mom is taking home a $5 million win from a Scratchers game, California Lottery officials said Friday.
Although a man came into the Lottery’s Santa Fe Springs district office and attempted to claim the $1 million prize for the Sept. 13, 2014 draw, he was not in possession of the winning Powerball ticket when the draw expired at the close of business Thursday, officials said.
The prize money will now go toward state public schools.
“It’s unfortunate that we were not able to locate the winning ticket, as we always strive to connect winners with their prizes,” said Russ Lopez, deputy director of corporate communications for the California Lottery. “It came down to the ticket, and the man who came forward claimed that the ticket was lost and he was unable to produce it.”
But there was good news for Scratchers player Katherine Portillo.
The 20-year-old mother of two matched the number 13 on her $20 Ultimate Riches Scratchers ticket, winning a life-changing $5 million, which she claimed Tuesday, Lottery officials said.
Portillo was on her way home when she decided to buy some snacks for her kids at Centerfold International Newsstand on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, picking up her usual two tickets.
“I play a few Scratchers tickets a week but I had never really won much before,” the new multi-millionaire told the California Lottery.
Portillo scratched her tickets when she got home and had her fiance double check for good measure, she said.
“I was really excited, it has all been a blur,” she said. “I plan on having a big wedding now. I was just going to get married on the courthouse steps but now our plans are a bit bigger.”
Portillo also said she plans on buying a house, helping family, and paying a traffic ticket she recently received.
“I can now think about becoming a nurse, or work in entertainment, or even become a teacher,” she said.
In addition, Centerfolds newsstand picks up a bonus of a half a percent of the top prize — in this case $25,000 — for selling the winning ticket to Portillo, Lottery officials said.
As for Rosemead Supermarket, it received a bonus of $5,493, or one half of one percent of the winning amount, just for selling the winning ticket.
Winning retailers receive their bonuses regardless of whether winners come forward or not.
— City News Service
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