Linda Stephens has had a rough go of it over the past couple of years. She was laid off by a garment manufacturing company two years ago and, being a “more mature” person looking for work, she’s had to endure a lot of rejection. “I’ve lost some of my confidence but I continued to pray -- not to become rich, just to have enough money to be able to stay in California, to eat, to live on,” Stephens explained. When asked how it felt to be one number away from winning what turned out to be a $448 million jackpot, she said, “It’s okay, I got what I asked for.”
Stephens is the owner of one of nine tickets that matched five out of six numbers and is worth $289,341. Those tickets successfully matched the numbers 58, 5, 25, 59 and 30, missing only the Powerball number 32. Stephens purchased her ticket at the Ralphs Grocery located at 5241 Warner Avenue in Huntington Beach (Orange County).
When Stephens saw how high the jackpot was, she scraped together a few dollars and bought some POWERBALL tickets. “Obviously, we had to stop playing once I got laid off,” she explained. Once she realized she won, she called her daughter who lives very close and she put a sweatshirt on over her pajamas and drove right over to check the numbers for herself. “None of us could believe it, but I attribute it to karma. I always try to be a kind, helpful person – karma rocks!”
Stephens plans to put all of her prize in the bank, and when asked if this will give her time to find her dream job, she explained, “I already have my dream job, but it isn’t enough to pay the bills.” Stephens and her daughter own “Lovie’s by Linda” a company that makes Hawaiian and rhinestone shirts for dogs. “We love doing it but it just doesn’t make enough to be our only source of income.”