HERMOSA BEACH — If Randy Malinoff had not been "kind of jealous" of his girlfriend's good fortune, he probably would not have tried his luck in the California Lottery.
About three hours after his girlfriend, Kathy Goldman, hit a $1,000 lottery jackpot one day last week, Malinoff also became a $1,000 winner.
Malinoff, 26, said an ironic twist of events led to the double win. Even though it was his idea for Goldman to buy her tickets, she was getting all of the attention, he said. So while she was on the telephone raving about her "big win," Malinoff said, he decided to go for a drive--and ended up buying some tickets himself.
He returned home a winner.
"We both thought it was a dream," Malinoff said. "We thought when we woke up the next morning the tickets wouldn't be in the cookie jar where we put them."
But the tickets were right where they hid them, along with some granola cereal. "We were afraid to leave them and we didn't want to walk around with them," Goldman explained.
Despite the fact that neither she nor Malinoff gambles much, Goldman, 24, said she was not exactly surprised that she won. "I was shocked . . . excited . . . but I kind of had a feeling I was going to win." She said she did not think Malinoff would also be lucky. "I thought there was going to only one winner. I really thought I was the lucky one."
Both Goldman and Malinoff spent $5 initially, with Goldman purchasing a total of nine $1 tickets before hitting the "big one."
Goldman bought her winning ticket at 400 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach, about 8:15 p.m. Friday. "I won $4, got four more and I hit it. I just kept looking at the zeros and kept counting. . . . I think it was Lady Luck. It was just my turn."
At 11:30 p.m. and about one mile away, Malinoff found his fortune at Ajaxx Liquor, 715 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach. "It was the first one I scratched off," he said. "It was wild. I had never won anything in my life!"
Refused Earlier Offer
Malinoff said neither neither he nor Goldman had planned to participate in the lottery. In fact, he said, they had both refused an offer to buy tickets at a grocery store the night before.
"The cashier asked us to buy some and we said no. It was the first day of the lottery and we thought the chances were slim."
Indeed they were. The odds of winning $1,000 are 1 in 40,000, lottery spokeswoman Phyllis Thomas said.
Malinoff and Goldman drove to a district lottery office in Sylmar on Monday to turn in their winning tickets. Their checks should arrive in the mail in about two weeks.
Goldman, who started work Wednesday at Bullock's in Torrance, said she plans to use her winnings as a down payment on a new car. Malinoff, a purchasing manager for Herbalife, said he will pay off some bills "and probably put the rest toward an engagement ring."
Goldman added: "Maybe we can win another lottery and pay for the wedding."