Wanda Smith has been playing the Lottery since 1986. As such, she has a system that works for her and she sticks to it. Part of that is she never checks her tickets until the following morning, and then she only goes to the California Lottery’s website to find the winning numbers. With such dedication, sooner or later Smith had to win big, right?
Sure enough, last Saturday night, Smith’s ticket was one of three that matched all five numbers in the Fantasy 5 draw. Her ticket earned a third of the $537,471 top prize, and yesterday afternoon she dropped by the Lottery’s Van Nuys District Office to claim her $179,157 prize and tell us how she beat the odds.
There were many possible explanations for her good fortune. Could it have been the big brass elephant at the local Lottery retail spot that she rubbed for good luck? Maybe it was the guy who told her if she played a Quick Pick she was sure to win. Or, perhaps it was just her own self-confidence, as she told us “when I checked the numbers, I said to myself ‘if it’s Pasadena, it’s going to be me.’”
And then, when she saw her numbers all match up and the location where the winning ticket was sold, Wanda told us she started dancing and screaming, but soon told herself to calm down. “I didn’t want my neighbors to think someone was attacking me,” she said.
Wanda said she plans to use her winnings to pay bills, help out her daughter and grandchildren, and just live a little more comfortably now.