Ever wonder how many packages of tortillas one million dollars can buy? “A lot,” laughed Catalina Deniston. From now on whenever the 41-year-old Clovis woman eats tostadas, she’s probably going to remember that amazing day on the 27th of July, 2015.
That’s when she deposited $20 into a California Lottery vending machine for two Big Money Scratchers games, and walked away with – well, big money! We’re talking the top prize of $1 million! “I’d just gone over to visit my parents in Sanger, and my dad was on me to go buy stuff to make tostadas from a specific market. He was tired and hungry, so I said ‘fine.’ He told me, ‘Go get the good ones (tortillas) from Gong’s!’”
Deniston said as she was walking out of Gong’s supermarket to go feed her father, she noticed the Lottery vending machine staring at her and decided, “Why not? – let me feed it some money and see what I get. It was just calling to me!” She grabbed both of her tickets and went home to help make lunch.
“While I was eating my tostada, I started scratching it and just about choked!” Deniston recalled. “When I realized I won the big amount, I slid (the ticket) over to my dad who was eating right by me. I said, ‘Dad, can you tell me how much that is?’ When he read it, we both started hugging each other and jumping up and down!”
The Fresno County government employee said she would have been perfectly happy with less money. “I started scratching and thought $100 would be pretty nice. I kept scratching until all of the zeros were exposed! It hasn’t sunk in. You can’t see me but I’m shaking. I can’t even sit down!”
The special market that sells the apparently legendary tortillas that Deniston’s father just had to have wins too. Gong’s Market, which is located at 1825 Academy Avenue in Sanger (Fresno County), receives a $5,000 retailer bonus for simply selling the lucky ticket. What a deal!
Deniston is so overwhelmed at becoming a millionaire – she hasn’t been able to even think about what she’s planning to do with all of her newfound loot. “A nice vacation would be nice. I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii. It really hasn’t sunk in. I’m so excited!”