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California Grandmother Claims Lottery Prize Days Before Expiration

Posted 11/03/2012 10:40 am by

It’s always nice when someone deserving wins a lottery.  From the great-grandmother who has won four jackpots to the people who gave away 98 percent of their winnings, good things happening to good people is great.  For Julie Cervera, her stroke of luck happened in the nick of time.  While struggling to make ends meet for five months, it turns out Cervera was a secret millionaire.  Julie Cervera had won a $23-million-dollar California Lottery drawing, but had no idea and was in danger of losing the ticket.  Fortunately, a media blitz by the lottery company got word to Cevera’s daughters, who got word to the grateful winner.

“I put my 99-cent glasses on, and I had to put two pairs on to see it,” said the 69-year-old Cervera, who has been on disability payments for the last 20 years.  “I thought she robbed a bank because I couldn’t see the words on top, so I put on a third pair (of glasses) and it said she won.  I was like, ‘No way!’”

As it turns out, Cervera’s daughter Charliena Marquez had purchased a lottery ticket at Palmdale Liquor in May after buying a bottle of water during a car trip.  The ticket was put away in the car’s glove box and forgotten.  In California, lottery winners only have 180 days to redeem the money or their winnings go to California’s public schools.  In this case, Cervera’s deadline was on November 26, which is why the California Lottery kicked off a drive to find the winner.

Cervera is taking a one-time cash payout of $17.8 million.

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