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Formerly homeless woman wins $5 million in the California Lottery

Winning Lottery Scratch Game Ticket
Posted at 6:31 PM, May 06, 2023

(CNN) — A once homeless California woman went to a Walmart Supercenter for an oil change. With the scratch of a lottery ticket worth millions, her luck -- and life -- changed, too.

Lucia Forseth won $5 million in a Scratchers game after buying a ticket at the store in Pittsburg, about 40 miles east of San Francisco, the California Lottery announced Wednesday.

Forseth said she closed her eyes and picked a ticket. She opened them to find she'd become an instant millionaire. "You never think you have a chance to win it," Forseth said in a press release from the California Lottery. "It is just random."

At first, Forseth thought she'd only won another ticket, "But I checked, and it said I won $5 million!" she said.

Her 2023 Scratchers win makes her the third winner of the ticket in California this year. There are two $5 million tickets still out there. The odds of winning the game are 1 in 3,088,854, according to the California Lottery.

It's a Cinderella story for Forseth, who in 2017 had no place to live.

"Being homeless just six years ago, I never thought it would happen to someone like me," she said.

Forseth said she plans to get married this year and earn her associate degree.

"Hearing a success story like this showcases the positive impact our games have on winners and schools alike," said California Lottery spokesperson Carolyn Becker.