A woman seen darting into the downtown Los Angeles convenience store that sold last week’s winning $1.08 billion Powerball ticket and appeared to be celebrating in the store is not the real jackpot winner, the Daily Mail reports.
KTLA’s cameras were rolling when the woman, wearing a black cap, ran into the Las Palmitas Mini Market on Wall Street on July 20, a day after the drawing, and seemed to be celebrating the win before quickly exiting, hopping into a dark-colored BMW with tinted windows and driving away.
“She came in here and she screamed … She hugged people in the store and then she ran away,” KTLA 5 News reporter Eric Spillman said at the time. “She claims that she has the winning Powerball jackpot ticket.”
Sarai Palacios, the granddaughter of 52-year-old Nabor Herrera, who co-owns the store, told the UK based outlet that the woman who appeared to be celebrating and thanking people is not the real winner.
“She didn’t win. I’m not sure why she did that. I guess she just wanted to be on TV,” Palacios told the Daily Mail. “We don’t know who the winner is yet. They still haven’t come forward.”
Herrera was unaware that he had sold the jackpot ticket when he arrived to open for business early Thursday morning. He was immediately greeted by a crowd of reporters, telling KTLA that he didn’t know what all the filming was about and that the whole thing was a surprise for him.
A bonus of $1 million from the California Lottery will go to Herrera and his store co-owners.
California Lottery officials have not yet released the winner’s name, but they are required to do so eventually.
Whoever the winner is, they are the second Los Angeles-area billionaire minted by the Powerball lottery within the past year. In November, Edwin Castro purchased a record-breaking $2 billion ticket at a gas station convenience store in Altadena.
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