Woman hits $426 million Mega Millions jackpot with $20 ticket, lottery officials say
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Gray News) - A woman in California cashed in the biggest lottery jackpot so far this year in the state, thanks to the Mega Millions game.
The California State Lottery reports Kristine Wellenstein hit the $426 million Mega Millions jackpot with the ticket she purchased at a Chevron gas station in Los Angeles County in January.
Her ticket was the only one in the country to match all six numbers: 3-16-25-44-55-13.
“When I realized I’d won, I was overcome with so many emotions, but mostly gratitude,” Wellenstein said.
The new multi-millionaire said she considers herself a private person and is not interested in speaking publicly but is interested in doing some good with her money.
“I want to give back and support local and global-based initiatives,” she said. “The real impact of my life’s work begins now.”
Lottery officials said Wellenstein has opted to take the lump sum in collecting her winnings.
The Chevron station where she bought the lucky Mega Millions ticket on Topanga Canyon Boulevard gets the maximum $1 million bonus for selling the winning ticket.
“We love having big jackpots and big wins in California,” said Alva V. Johnson, director of the California State Lottery. “Higher jackpots typically result in higher sales, which means more money for public education.”
Mega Millions draws happen twice a week on Tuesday and Friday nights. Tickets are $2 each.
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