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California woman claims Mega Millions lottery jackpot worth half-billion dollars

Sep 21, 2019, 8:59 am

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Mega Millions

Includes video report

A San Diego woman never has to work another day in her life after cashing in her winning Mega Millions lottery ticket she purchased at a deli near Sorrento Valley.

Laarni Bibal picked up a Quick Pick ticket at the Sorrento Deli Mart at 10920 Roselle Street on June 7. The next day, she heard a winning ticket had been purchased at her favorite store.

"My heart started beating really fast," Bibal told the California State Lottery.

Sure enough, the winning numbers — 17, 19, 27, 40, and 68, with Mega Ball number 2 — matched the numbers on her ticket.

Lottery officials said Bibal's lucky ticket was worth a cool $522 million. She chose the cash option which netted her $340 million before federal taxes are applied. Unlike most states, California does not impose state tax on lottery winnings.

Bibal took some time before claiming her winnings, hiding the winning ticket in a secret spot while she waited to claim her prize, she told lottery officials.

When asked where that secret place was, Bibal said, "I can't tell you. The secret hiding place is still a secret."

But she now plans to pay off some debt and buy a home with her new fortune.

Bibal's last known address is an apartment complex in Escondido. The property manager said she bought out the remainder of her lease earlier this summer.

Adrian Goro's family has sold lottery tickets at the deli mart for almost 30 years but none of their customers have ever won.

For selling the winning ticket, they get a $1 million prize.

"My mom runs upstairs screaming and she's like, 'We won the lotto!' I thought she meant my dad bought a ticket and we won like half-a-billion dollars. I was going out of my mind," Goro said.

Though a little short of a half a billion dollars, Goro said he and his family still have plenty to be happy about.

The family plans to use the prize money to invest in their store and open a restaurant next door.

Additional information about the drawing, including all prize payout information and drawing video, can be found on USA Mega's Mega Millions drawing detail for June 7, 2019 page.

Mega Millions is one of two largest national lottery games. Tickets for the game are currently offered for sale in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm Eastern Time. Tickets cost $2 each.

Players can find lottery retail locations for purchasing tickets by downloading the free Lottery Places app for iOS, Android, or Windows. Lottery Places is the only app on the market that will locate lottery retailers in every state and jurisdiction throughout the United States.

Michigan lottery players can bypass the store completely and buy Mega Millions lottery tickets online.  Players outside the USA can play online through a reputable butler service  that delivers scanned images of the lottery tickets to verify the ticket purchase and ownership.

The Mega Millions winning numbers are published at USA Mega ( minutes after the drawing takes place.

Mega Millions jackpots start out at $40 million and roll over if there is no jackpot winner. The last jackpot was won in New Hampshire on July 23, with a $168 million jackpot.

The largest jackpot in U.S. history was a $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot on January 13, 2016, when three tickets from California, Florida, and Tennessee split the winnings.  The Florida and Tennessee winners claimed their prizes quickly, but the California winner waited about six months to claim their share.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot in history was a $1.5 billion jackpot won in October 2018 by one player in South Carolina, creating the world's first lottery billionaire.

VIDEO: Watch the report

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