It’s a fairytale ending for a former unhoused woman in California, as it was just announced that she won $5 million in the state’s lottery.
After impulsively purchasing a Scratchers ticket on May 3 at a Pittsburg, California, Walmart Supercenter, Lucia Forseth was shocked to see that she won.
“I only bought one ticket,” Forseth said, per the California Lottery. “I closed my eyes and picked that one, and it won! I first thought I’d won a free ticket, but I checked, and it said I won $5 million!”
Forseth, who was homeless as recently as 2017, said that she was at the discount retailer getting an oil change for her car and decided to purchase the ticket and scratch it off then and there.
It’s a stroke of good luck for Forseth, who will finish her Associate’s Degree this year. She’s also getting married.
“You never think you have a chance to win it. It is just random,” she explained. “Being homeless just six years ago, I never thought it would happen to someone like me.”
Forseth said she won’t speak to the media any further.
From 2021 to 2022, the California lottery generated an estimated $8.8 billion in sales, with over 95% of the revenue doled out in prize payments (and commission bonuses for retailers that sold winning tickets). The rest is poured back into the state’s education system.
Just over one year ago, a California woman named LaQuedra Edwards was purchasing a Scratchers ticket from a machine inside a supermarket when a “rude” stranger bumped into her and caused her to hit the wrong selection. The accidental ticket landed her a $10 million prize.
“I just kept thinking this can’t be right,” Edwards said at the time.
According to the California Lottery, winners must pay 24% of their earnings to the state but there aren’t any additional California state or local tax withholdings.