Talk about Christmas miracles.
Kathleen Chavez, a retired accountant from Hemet, and her family stopped Christmas Day at a gas station to fill up gas en route to Morongo Casino Resort & Spa.
She went inside the station to buy her son a Red Bull and handed him 10 bucks for a Scratchers lottery ticket, at his insistence. Moments later she heard her son yell, “We won!”
The payoff? A cool million greenbacks.
Chavez, who plays Scratchers half a dozen times a year, couldn’t believe it.
“I wouldn’t have gone in and just bought a Scratchers,” said Chavez in a telephone interview this afternoon after California Lottery officials revealed her name as the state’s newest millionaire.
Kathleen Chavez bought the ticket at the Valero station at 1701 W. Florida Ave., according to the California Lottery.
Chavez’s son insisted she plunk down $10, and she initially resisted. She told lottery officials she did not believe she had won until she took the ticket to the California Lottery’s Inland Empire District Office and had it scanned.
After the ticket was verified, Chavez took a moment to sit back and let it all sink in. She plans on investing most of her winnings, but said she would also give some of her winnings to her son, who talked her into buying the lucky ticket, according to Lottery officials.
A $5,000 bonus went to the retailer that sold the ticket.