The winning ticket of Saturday's $590 million Powerball jackpot was sold in Zephyrhills, Fla. But for a few fleeting minutes last week, a California woman thought she had won it all.
Margit Arrobio purchased 5 tickets at a local Shell gas station in Pasadena Wednesday evening, when the jackpot was just $360 million, reports ABC7 Los Angeles. The next morning, she found out that the Powerball drawing matched all six numbers on one of her cards, but was puzzled to hear the news that no one had bought the winning ticket.
"I called my gas station where I bought the ticket and I said, 'I don't get it. I have every number and yet they say there's no winner,'" Arrobio said to ABC7. The gas station attendant realized that Arrobio bought her ticket an hour after Wednesday's drawing had already been announced, which meant her numbers were in play for the next drawing.
California wasn't completely left out of the Powerball jackpot; two winning tickets worth $2.3 million each were purchased in Taft and San Jose, notes the Los Angeles Times.
Like Arrobio, lottery winners all over the world have their own "close call" stories to share. Lottery discussion forums are full of stories like this 2008 post from a player who was only off by three digits on a Fantasy 5 jackpot.
But by far the most heart-stopping stories have to do with actual lottery winners who almost missed out on their pay day. A California woman almost forfeited $23 million last November because she never bothered to check her lottery tickets after the drawing. She came forward with just 25 days left to claim her prize.
In 2010, a couple from Indiana almost missed out on $2.5 million after sitting on a winning lottery ticket for 6 months. They came forward a week after officials said the prize wouldn't be awarded.