SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Those who play the lottery are always hoping the winds of fortune will blow in their direction, and that was true for a 7-Eleven store in San Jose. A ticket bought there won more than $1 million in Saturday’s Powerball drawing, even though the numbers didn’t match up exactly.
The store at 5148 Moorpark Avenue sold someone a ticket that matched five out of six numbers in Saturday’s lottery for a win totaling more than $1.2 million. The store’s owner, Russ Anbirbha, said he was notified by lottery officials on Sunday morning.
“They texted me actually on my cell phone and said I have a millionaire at the store, so I was very happy about that…actually, one of my customers. So, it was very exciting,” he said.
Not bad for an “almost” win. If the ticket had also picked the correct red Powerball number, it would have been worth more than $194 million. That prize was claimed by someone in a small town in Tennessee, which had lottery player Michael Reeves engaging in conspiracy theories.
“Silicon Valley is a very affluent area. The computer’s not going to go, ‘Let’s give somebody else a million dollars because they need it, right?’” he said with a laugh.
When asked if he thought the whole thing was rigged, he replied, “Well, I sometimes wonder when I see who wins…well, that comes from another rural town…”
Lottery player Lisa Garcia wasn’t quite as cynical, but she’s not very sure of herself either.
“When you’re playing, do you ever feel confident you’re going to win?” she was asked. “No, never,” she said. But she said she continues to play because “you never know.”
That same sentiment of potential luck is what fuels the dreams of lottery players. Anbirbha says he dreams of retiring one day soon, but the $3,000 he’ll get for selling the winning ticket might not be enough.
“Quarter of one percent…one quarter of one percent,” he said. “It’s time for me to retire but I don’t think I could retire on that!”
Nevertheless, he says he’s glad his store was good luck for someone and he hopes they stop by to say hello. Whoever is holding the winning ticket has 180 days to contact lottery officials and claim the $1.2 million prize.