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Press release

July 28, 2010

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July, 2010 | Winners Stories | Northern California

Clearlake Woman Claims $1 Million Scratchers® Prize


SACRAMENTO – No matter how much she tried to convince herself that her ticket couldn’t possibly be a winner, there was no denying it – Patricia Zalpis had just won an instant $1 million playing the California Lottery’s “Millions in Cash” Scratchers game.

Zalpis, a 60-year-old mother of three who resides in Clearlake, came into the Lottery’s Sacramento District Office this morning to claim her prize. She purchased her winning ticket at Foods Etc, which is located at 15290 Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake.

She bought her Millions in Cash ticket along with several other Scratchers game tickets and decided to scratch them off in the store. After working her way through several non-winners, she slowly began to scratch the Millions in Cash ticket. After seeing she had matched the winning number, she went to work scratching the prize amount, thinking she had maybe won a free ticket.

“At first I thought I won 10 dollars, then 100, then 1,000, and then I saw the million and I thought ‘no way,’” said Zalpis dismissively. “So I set that ticket aside and won $8 on my other tickets and then went back to it. I just could not digest it.

“I had the shakes when I took it to the retailer to check it and she asked me ‘oh, do you have a big winner there?’ and I nodded,” she continued. “I was almost afraid to have her check it.”

When the retailer confirmed her big win, the retailer and Zalpis excitedly hugged and Zalpis began exclaiming “Oh my God!” over and over again.

The win is good news for the whole family: Zalpis, a former Census worker, plans to give some of the cash to her children. She also plans to pay off some bills and buy some property.

“Millions in Cash” is the first Scratchers game released under the Lottery’s Prize Flexibility Bill. This $5 ticket offers 25 instant $1 million prizes, which are paid out in one lump sum. Tickets are available at the more than 21,000 Lottery retailers throughout the state.

The California Lottery is celebrating 25 years of enhancing education and supporting local communities. More than 94 cents of every dollar spent by our players goes to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail commissions. Since 2000, Lottery players have contributed $1 billion to public schools each year, and, since we began in 1985, Lottery players have contributed more than $22 billion to education.

See More Press Releases: July, 2010 | Winners Stories | Northern California