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Huntington Beach Woman Splits Giant Lotto Jackpot

August 30, 2004|Jennifer Mena | Times Staff Writer

A longtime customer of a drive-through convenience store in Huntington Beach won $33.3 million after buying a single $1 SuperLotto Plus ticket just hours before the numbers were selected late Saturday.

The woman, identified by the store owner only as a Huntington Beach resident named Kim, was among three winners who will split the $100-million prize in the twice-weekly game. The other tickets were bought in Sausalito and Los Altos in Northern California.

Linda Kien, owner of Cal-VA Milk, said she has known the customer for about 20 years.

Kien had expected Kim to appear at the store Sunday, where California Lottery officials were to make a presentation to her, but when Kim saw the television trucks outside, she drove home, Kien said.

For years, the two women have debated just how many lottery tickets one should buy to win. Kien insisted that Kim needed to buy 20 a week. Kim said it took just one ticket to win, so that's all she ever bought, and she bought one each week.

The customer called Kien Sunday morning to tease her.

"She called me to tell me I'm wrong," said Kien, laughing.

Kien and the two Northern California stores will receive $167,000 each for selling the winning ticket, said Bob Vonada, sales supervisor for the California Lottery. Kien, who also owns Perry's Pizza next door, said she would use the money to improve the convenience store.

Kien described the customer as in her mid-30s with a daughter who is about 12. She said Kim had spent many years as a stay-at-home mom and only recently had replaced an old car with a new SUV. "She is not a big spender," Kien said. "She sometimes was short on money, so I'm glad she won."

The winning numbers drawn Saturday were 17, 18, 28, 33, and 39. The mega number was 19.

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