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Press release

August 16, 2013

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August, 2013 | Winners Stories

In the Right Place at the Right Time for a Win


Two Tickets Worth $289K Each Still Unclaimed

SACRAMENTO – In Alicia Mandel’s words, she “rarely” plays the Lottery. In fact, she says she can’t remember the last time she played. But for some reason, or more like 448 million of them, she wanted to get some tickets for the POWERBALL® draw on August 7, 2013. As luck would have it, she did and matched five out of six numbers to win a prize worth $289,341.

Mandel actually had her dad pick up $40 worth of tickets for her, and while she has some lucky numbers, she says “I knew my dad wouldn’t take them all down over the phone, so I told him to just buy me Quick Picks – it’s a good thing I did.” Yes, it is a very good thing she did, because the numbers she let the computer choose – 58, 5, 25, 59 and 30 – will give her the chance to invest in her children’s futures. If only she had matched the Powerball number 32! Mandel’s father purchased her tickets at Arden Town ampm, which is located at 3501 Fair Oaks Boulevard in Sacramento, where he was gassing up on his way through town. Mandel was actually surprised when she realized how many things had to line up for her to get the winning numbers. Her dad was running late and had to stop for gas, and that’s why he ended up at that retailer at that time to buy her tickets. Any other retailer at any other time and she may have ended up with different, non-winning numbers. “Yeah, and there was a lightning show at my house that night and I was thinking, ‘Really, lightning? We never have lightning,’” she explained. “And I started thinking of how they say you are more likely to get struck by lightning than win the Lottery. I remember laughing about it.” She’s laughing all the way to the bank now.

And when she checked her numbers and saw she only matched five, she told a salesman, “I don’t think I win anything for that.” He corrected her – “Yeah, I think you do, you better check into it.” Boy was he right! Now her kids’ college educations are paid for, even though she says they are so good in school they are hoping for scholarships. Mandel said she plans to give her helpful father some too. What a good daughter.

The California Lottery reminds winners to sign the back of their tickets, keep tickets in a safe place and visit their local Lottery District Office as soon as possible. Winners have 180 days from the date of the draw to claim prizes.

POWERBALL is a multistate game played in California (and 42 other states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands). 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 on how to play.

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: August, 2013 | Winners Stories |