CA Lottery Home

About Us Games Retailers Corporate Social Responsibility Español

Press release

October 11, 2013

See more press releases:

October, 2013 | Winners Stories | Southern California

Night at Movies – A $724,000 Hollywood-type Ending


San Bernardino County Teacher Exits Theater and Gets Thrill of a Lifetime! 

SACRAMENTO – Any gasps or rushes of adrenalin felt inside the theater during the box office thriller “Gravity” paled in comparison to what Kurt Burger experienced once the movie ended. The 12th grade high school teacher knew the Powerball® numbers had been drawn while he was in his seat, and was well-aware that an $86 million jackpot was up for grabs. “I had the website for the Lottery on my phone and I checked it right away when I got outside,” the 47-year old explained.

What Burger saw on his phone this past Saturday night seemed dream-like – you know, something you might only see in the movies! One by one, as he looked at his ticket, each of his numbers matched – that is until he got to the Powerball number. He was off by just two! So instead of winning $86 million, he still went home after an evening of fun, with an amazing $724,021. “In my mind, I still couldn’t believe five of the numbers matched. When I got home and saw (on the computer) where the (winning) ticket was purchased and that I bought mine there, then it hit!” Burger said, adding “It’s a fantastic payout for a $2 investment!”

Burger immediately called his colleague Eric Danhof, who is an administrator at the school where Burger teaches. For the past month, both have been pooling their money on various Lottery games. Burger got to break the exciting news that Danhof would be splitting nearly three quarters of a million dollars. “I didn’t know if he was messin’ with me or not. It’s pretty exciting!” Danhof added.

They say they plan on investing some of their winnings, as well as “doing something nice” for their families. Burger has one special plan in mind. “I have a Boxer puppy that needs a hip replacement. He was born with (a condition).” Aww, poor little guy. But we love happy endings!

The lucky ticket was purchased at Donut Star, which is located at 2200 South Mountain Avenue in Ontario (San Bernardino County). The winning numbers were 11, 39, 40, 17 and 12 – missing only the red Powerball number 5. So will both these educators continue playing the Lottery? “Oh yes, we’ve already bought tickets for the next one,” Burger said, laughing.

Powerball is a multistate game played in California (and 42 other states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Players pick five numbers from 1 to 59 plus a Powerball number from 1 to 35. Draw times are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:59 p.m. PST. Tickets sales are suspended from 7:00 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. the day of the draw. Tickets are $2 and can be purchased from any of the more than 21,000 California Lottery retailers. Please visit the California Lottery’s Powerball site for more information. 

The mission of the California Lottery is to provide supplemental funding to California schools while simultaneously supporting local communities. More than 96 cents of every dollar spent by our players goes back to local communities in the form of contributions to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail compensation. The California Lottery urges its customers to play responsibly and within their budgets. If you feel you have a gambling problem, or know someone who does, you can get help at 1-800-GAMBLER.

See More Press Releases: October, 2013 | Winners Stories | Southern California