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October 22, 2013

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October, 2013 | Winners Stories | Northern California

Politeness Nearly Costs Bay Area Winner $750,000!


Bob Johnson 400

Fremont Scratchers® Winner Rewarded in Big Way for Act of Kindness 

SACRAMENTO – It could have been a personal lottery disaster. There’s really no other way to put it. Arlene Johnson wasn’t in any rush to buy her 20X Crossword Scratchers game, so she casually waved another woman ahead of her in line. “She went first and I noticed she bought the same game I was going to get,” Johnson remembered.

It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, letting someone else go first. But consider this – Johnson ended up buying the very next ticket in the bunch, and won the top prize of $750,000! “If I hadn’t let (the stranger) go first, I would have gotten hers and she would have bought mine. And she would have won!” added Johnson, who not surprisingly, is still shaking her head.

So depending on how you look at it, Johnson’s act of kindness paid off with a fantastic reward, or her courtesy very nearly cost her three quarters of a million dollars! “Yeah, and had she bought two tickets, she would have won! So that’s how lucky we were,” Johnson laughed. “Freaky. I’m still freaked out.”

Initially, she and her husband Bob had a difficult time believing they had even scratched away a fortune. “I thought it was $750”, Arlene admitted. “But then I looked at zero, zero, zero, zeroes!” The zeroes just kept coming – almost a million dollars’ worth!

Still having a tough time believing – they took the ticket back to the store just to make sure! The clerk did confirm they won – but it’s how he responded that actually caused the couple to cringe a little bit. “He started yelling at a customer who was walking in, ‘these people just won $750,000!!’” laughed Bob. “I was like ‘shut up,’” laughed Arlene. “Yeah, tell the world about it, you know?” added Bob, with a chuckle.

The retired couple from Fremont said they grabbed their ticket, went outside, looked around, got in the car quickly, locked the doors and took off fast! The Johnsons bought their winning 20X Crossword Scratchers game last week at Kwik Stop, which is located at 3157 Walnut Avenue in Fremont (Alameda County). They say they plan on investing their money – but not before Bob buys a new truck, and Arlene purchases, of all things, a rototiller for the garden. “Maybe something fancy like one with a cup holder,” she laughed.

20x Crossword is the California Lottery’s first-ever $10 crossword Scratchers game. The game is the part of the Lottery’s continued effort to give out more prizes, create more winners and earn more money for education. 20x Crossword features a $750,000 top prize and a $75 Fast Spot.

The winning doesn’t stop there – like all Lottery Scratchers games, the 20x Crossword game comes with second chances to win the top prizes. Just subscribe to our 2nd Chance Program and submit any non-winning 20x Crossword Scratchers ticket codes for a chance to win. For more information on the game and a simulation on how to play, please click here.

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 | Northern California