For about an hour and a half tonight, folks in Southern California were marveling at the idea that a 62-year-old nurse in Pomona would complete her shift at a nursing home Wednesday night, despite being informed by her son that she was holding the winning Powerball jackpot ticket sold in Chino Hills.
The news trail started with a New York Daily News item (“California Powerball Winner Is a Nurse With 7 Kids”) and continued on the West Coast via ABC-TV Channel 7 (“Chino Hills Jackpot Winner Identified as Nurse…”). But here’s the real story, courtesy of L.A. Times Inland Empire reporter Paloma Esquivel:
The daughter of the woman, who also works at the [Pomona healthcare] center, told The Times that she believed the reports were the result of a misunderstanding based on a photo of a ticket that was sent to her mother.
The family had not won the prize, she said. She asked that her name not be used because she didn’t want to draw more attention to her family.
“It’s too embarrassing,” she said.
The Daily News is reporting it was a deliberate prank, pulled by the woman’s son. The paper’s item now reads “California Nurse Was Told She Won the Powerball, But It Was a Prank,” while the ABC 7 article is headlined “Pomona Nurse Is Not the Chino Hills Powerball Winner.”
OMG! What a horrible prank!! Pretty sure I’d disown that son… https://t.co/sJuGVE0bL7
— Lisa Guerrero (@4lisaguerrero) January 15, 2016