Last winner of huge California lotto jackpot comes forward
ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — Welma Naguit didn’t have to buy more than one ticket to win a share of the $193 million California SuperLotto-Plus drawing. She didn’t even have to be in the country when the ticket was purchased.
Naguit, who immigrated to the United States only a year ago, stepped forward Monday to claim her share of the record single-state drawing.
Naguit was visiting the Philippines, her homeland, when relatives in Montebello, Calif., told her of the huge jackpot. She had them buy her a single ticket, one of three that hit the winning numbers in the Feb. 16 drawing.
Naguit was the last of the big winners to step forward. The soft-spoken mother of a 12-year-old girl appeared uncomfortable talking to reporters outside an Orange 7-Eleven, and quickly left after answering questions for a few minutes.
She said she waited “because I feel nervous. Every day, every night I cannot sleep.”
“She was really just too scared to come up,” said Joan Wilson, the California Lottery’s chief executive officer, who introduced Naguit at a press conference originally intended to give a symbolic check to a store owner who sold another of the winning tickets. Naguit’s ticket was bought at a Montebello 7-Eleven.
Wilson also said Naguit is in the process of getting a divorce, which could complicate her good luck. Because the proceedings are not final, her estranged husband could be entitled to half the winnings.
Naguit split the jackpot with a Tustin couple, Paul Briscoe, 49, and his wife Rose, 45, and a Half Moon Bay man, Andy Kampe.
Because she chose to receive her winnings in a lump sum rather than annually over 26 years, her share of the jackpot is actually worth about $32 million. The federal government will take 27 percent of that off the top, lottery spokeswoman Norma Minas said.
The jackpot is the largest single-state prize ever won. It was the fifth-largest including multistate games. The biggest lottery payout in U.S. history was $363 million in May 2000 for The Big Game multistate lottery. California’s previous record jackpot was $141 million on June 23, 2001, won by a San Jose man.
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