Elida Betancourt was screaming so madly her son thought she was having a heart attack.
But Elida had actually won $54 Million on the Mega Millions lottery. Or so she thought.
I rechecked it about five times and they were still the same numbers and I started screaming and crying. I sat down on the floor.
As it turns out the Fresno Bee had printed the wrong set of winning numbers in the Wednesday edition of the newspaper. They had actually reprinted the Friday draw results instead.
So poor Elida had not actually won anything at all.
The mistake was discovered when a member of the family went to a lottery retailer to double check the numbers, and discovered they were different to those in the newspaper.
The Fresno Bee published a notice on their site (now taken down) advising the correct numbers at midday on Wednesday, although the notice did fall short of apologising for the error.
It is now claimed that the newspaper got the results direct from the official Mega Millions website, although there is no indication from Mega Millions that the wrong results were ever published.
Elida normally plays the same set of numbers for each draw, but this time decided to play a quick pick. It’s intriguing to note that her quick pick actually matched all 6 numbers from the previous Friday’s draw, making her 4 days away from really winning the Mega Millions jackpot!
In reality nobody won the jackpot on Tuesday, so the $54 Million pot continues to roll over for Friday. If you’d like to boost your chances of winning it, try this Mega Millions syndicate. It gives you a straightforward 20 times the chance of winning Mega Millions and Powerball.
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Lottery Blog // Sep 22, 2011 at 3:22 am
Apparently one of the first things the Betancourt’s planned to do with the winnings was get a new roof on their house.
And they are now getting one courtesy of a generous local roofing company. The owner said he wanted to “put some joy back into her heart”.
The Bee has introduced new procedures to help avoid the problem happening again.